Economy

Pharma exports up 7.57% at $20.5 b in FY20

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on May 08, 2020 Published on May 08, 2020

The country’s pharmaceutical exports increased 7.57 per cent in the financial year ended March 31, at $20.58 billion, against $19.13 billion in the previous year.

The growth in FY19 was however an increase of 10.72 per cent over FY18,, according to Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council’s (Pharmexcil) data.

Dip in Feb, March

“The slowdown in growth rate was due to reduction of exports in February and March 2020. While February showed 7.7 per cent growth, exports declined 23.24 per cent in March affecting the overall performance of exports in the pharma industry,” R Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmaexcil, said on Friday.

Due to the lockdown, the last quarter saw a negative growth of 3 per cent without which the overall growth for the full year would have been around 11 per cent as the first nine months’ growth in pharma exports in FY20 was at 11.5 per cent.

In a way, Covid-19 and lockdown had offset the positive impact of surge in pharma exports in the first three quarters of the year under review.

The growth in the first three quarters was at 11.21 per cent, 8.69 per cent, 14.64 per cent respectively.

Drug formulations and biologicals contributed to 72 per cent of total exports, with growth of 9.5 per cent. However, the second largest category of exports — bulk drugs and intermediaries — declined by 0.75 per cent. Vaccines and surgicals recorded 22 per cent and 10.5 per cent growth respectively.

Export destinations

Of the 202 destinations for Indian drugs, North America had the largest share of 34 per cent, with 15 per cent growth in overall exports.

Exports to the US stood at $6.7 billion with a 32.74 per cent share in total exports and showed 15.8 per cent growth.

On the expectations for the current year, the Pharmexcil chief said: “We expect double-digit growth in FY21 as there could be higher demand for generics if countries across the world want to cut healthcare expenses due to economic slowdown. However, given the continuing Covid-19 impact, this could be too early for a forecast.’’

It may be noted that though India started exporting Covid-19 related drugs to many countries, they are not high value products and may not lead to a significant jump in export earnings, he added.

Published on May 08, 2020

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