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Traditional items drive export growth in April-Nov

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G. Srinivasan

New Delhi, Feb. 21

THREE traditional products such as ores and minerals, gems and jewellery and engineering goods and unconventional item such as petroleum products which together constitute more than half of the country's overall exports acquitted themselves impressively during the first eight months of the current fiscal to pull up the overall export growth rate during April-November 2005 close to 19 per cent in dollar terms.

Disaggregated provisional trade data gleaned by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S) and compiled by the Economic Division of the Department of Commerce show that with a weight of 11.33 per cent in total exports, petroleum products export emerged as a star performer by clocking a growth of 51.43 per cent at $6643.43 million during April-November 2005, against $4387.06 million in the corresponding months of 2004.

While exports of ores and minerals (weight 5.36 per cent) registered a growth of 31.54 per cent at $3145.64 million ($2391.31 million), exports of gems and jewellery (17.26 per cent) showed up a growth of 20.17 per cent at $10121.06 million during the period under review ($8421.98 million). Engineering goods exports (18.27per cent) fared robustly by notching up a growth of 21.20 per cent at $10713.90 million ($8839.85 million), even as exports of chemicals and related products (14.70 per cent) slowed down a tad by marking a growth of 11.55 per cent at $8622.04 million ($7729.15 million).

A redeeming feature on the export front is the salutary show put up by exports of agri and allied products, which with a weight of 7.08 per cent in overall exports recorded a growth of 12.64 per cent at $4149.93 million ($3684.22 million). Exports of marine products, cotton yarn fabric and made-ups, plastic and linoleum products, manmade yarn, fabrics, made-up and primary and semi finished iron and steel all recorded low to negative growth rate.

Overall the country's exports during the first eight months of the current fiscal amounted to $58651.40 million ($49368.75 million), a growth of 18.80 per cent.

Destination-wise, exports to Asia and Oceania region which absorbs a lion's share of 46.70 per cent in total exports shows a growth of 19.56 per cent at $27389.69 million ($22907.81 million), while exports to Africa which account for a relatively lower share of 7.03 per cent in total exports notched up a wholesome 31.90 per cent growth at

$4125.88 million ($3127.94 million).

While exports to West Europe (24.17 per cent) grew by 20.87 per cent at $14176.01 million ($11728.53 million), exports to the Americas (21.09 per cent) reveal a growth of 16.56 per cent at $12371.91 million ($10614.06 million). It is also revealing to note that exports to Latin American countries, albeit being a modest share of 2.95 per cent, did exceedingly well by clocking a growth of 29.76 per cent at $1728.31 million during the period under review against $1331.89 million.

Among the top 15 countries for exports, Singapore grabbed the top-notch slot by logging a growth of 59 per cent, followed by the Netherlands at 53 per cent, South Africa at 48 per cent, Sri Lanka at 41 per cent and China at 40 per cent.

On the import front, bulk imports with a weight of 43.87 per cent in total imports grew by a hefty 40.35 per cent at $37902.47 million ($27004.97 million). Import of petroleum crude and products (32.12 per cent in total imports) registered a whopping 43.33 per cent growth at $27751.50 million ($19362.20 million). Machinery imports (9.89 per cent) grew by 30.46 per cent at $6711.20 million, against $5144.28 million.

Significantly, import of gold and silver with a weight of 8.51 per cent in total imports grew by 17.79 per cent at $7352.11 million ($6241.48 million), while import of pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (7.77 per cent) registered a growth of 30.46 per cent at $6711.20 million ($5144.28 million).

Overall, imports grew by 30.58 per cent at $86402.56 million ($66166.09 million).

Destination-wise, imports from Asia and Oceania, which account for 33.22 per cent in total imports, grew by 23.93 per cent at $28704.30 million ($23161.65 million). Imports from West Europe (20.98 per cent) grew by 27.40 per cent at $18129.80 million ($14230.25 million), while imports from the Americas (7.76 per cent) recorded a growth of 20.56 per cent at $6706.70 million ($5562.95 million).

Among the top 15 countries for imports, the highest growth was made by China at 42.5 per cent, followed by Germany at 42.4 per cent and Hong Kong at 34 per cent.

Related Stories:
Exports post 21 per cent growth in January
The export growth story
Capital goods drive import growth April-Aug numbers reflect brisk economic activity

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 22, 2006)
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