External factors helped boost India’s global trade: Maersk Report

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on June 08, 2018

Imports witnessed a 16% increase and exports were up 7%. Together, they led India’s trade to a strong start in 2018   -  CHINA STRINGER NETWORK

Integrated logistics company AP Moller-Maersk trade report reveals that India’s containerised trade enjoyed a spirited uptick in the first quarter of 2018, after witnessing a roller-coaster ride for two years.

Imports witnessed a 16 per cent increase, while exports was up by 7 per cent. Together, they led India’s trade to a strong start in 2018, said Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk Line (for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives).

Dry cargo imports

The report said dry cargo was the key contributor to import growth. This jumped 22 per cent during the first quarter of 2018, compared to a 2 per cent growth during the corresponding quarter of the earlier year.

Recyclables such as paper and metal, which were the two dry cargo commodities, registered a growth of 61 per cent and 55 per cent respectively.

“Recycable imports were severely impacted by demonetisation. With the rebound that we are seeing in this category, it would be safe to presume that the effects are finally wearing off and domestic consumption is showing signs of pick-up. Additionally, China’s decision to increase restrictions on wastepaper imports benefited India. These key developments augurs well for India’s import growth,” Felder said.

Growth in exports

On the export side, rising demand for Indian made vehicles (in Turkey) and fruits and nuts (in the UK and the UAE) pushed growth to a healthy 7 per cent. “The first quarter has been constructive for export growth. As the effect of policy shifts faded and the inflow of GST refunds began, the market was further buoyed by a weaker rupee. We are bullish on India,” Felder told BusinessLine.

He pointed out that with large trading economies such as China and the US sparring over their trade relations, India and other emerging economies could witness strong in flows of select commodities.

“Commodities have to find markets, and as India’s domestic consumption continues to rise, we can expect many of them find takers here.

Also, the increasing aspiration of India’s populace, in my view, would sustain in the coming months, assuming there are no significant policy changes,” he said.

Published on June 08, 2018

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