New Delhi: India’s exports are estimated to have dipped 21% in February -- a decline for fifth month in a row and the biggest contraction this fiscal, reflecting collapse of demand for Indian goods in the developed economies, bleeding under recession.
While official data for February is yet to be released, an official said exports in the penultimate month of the fiscal 2008-09 are set to shrink to about $11 billion compared to $14.23 billion in the same period last year.
He said even the truncated exports target of $175 billion for 2008-09 would be hard to meet. Commerce and industry minister had already ruled out meeting the $200 billion target set earlier.
Exports for April-January 2008-09 have aggregated to $144.26 billion, showing a growth of 13.2%. Value of merchandise shipments expanded by 21.62% in the corresponding period last year.
After showing impressive gains till September 2008-09, exports went into the negative zone from October when the contraction was 12.1%. November and December also saw shrinking of volume as against the comparable months in the previous fiscal.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo) president A Sakthivel said, “By seeing the declining trend it is very difficult even to achieve the truncated figure of $175 billion for the current fiscal. We can at best touch $168 billion.”
He said that the declining trend would continue till September and may be after that there would be any possibility of revival of exports.
The US and the European Union contribute about 35% to the country’s exports basket. With the US and several European economies in recession the demand for overseas goods in these countries have shrunk.
Textile, handicrafts, leather and leather goods are the worst hit sectors forcing exporting units to lay-off workers.
According to an estimate of the Fieo, 10 million people employed in the exporting units would be laid off this financial year.