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NEW DELHI : The country’s exports in December rose by a record 37% year-on-year to $37.29 billion, government data showed on Monday. This is the highest-ever monthly achievement of exports so far. Exports stood at more than $27.22 billion in December 2020. The exports growth last month is also a 37.55% jump over December 2019, when it stood at $27.11 billion. 

“Highest ever goods exports in the history of India in Dec’21! Exports over $37 Billion, 37% jump over Dec’20. Govt. led by PM @NarendraModi ji is providing a boost to manufacturing sector for building an #AatmanirbharBharat," commerce minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet. 

Such a robust performance will take Indian exports of goods to more than $400 billion this fiscal, the minister said later at a press conference.

Outbound shipments during April-December 2021 has already crossed $300 billion, exceeding the exports of 2020-21, according to data of the commerce ministry.

The performance of exports during the difficult period of covid is both satisfying and encourages us to aspire for more. Goyal said. 

The April-December 2021 exports number is an increase of 48.85% over the $201.37 billion in April-December 2020 and an increase of 25.80% over the $238.27 billion in April-December 2019.

Exports have also been $30 billion or more for nine months consecutively. Exports in each month of the current fiscal has touched historic high levels, the minister said. 

Also, before December 2021, the highest ever exports in any quarter was achieved in Q3 (2021-22) at $103 billion.

The top 10 major commodity groups constituting 80% of exports have grown by 41% over last December, each one having positive growth. Engineering goods, which constitute 26% of exports, has grown by 37% over last December. Gems and jewellery exports (8% of the total) has grown by 15.8 % over last December, readymade garments by 22%, cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups/handloom by 46%, and electronic goods by 33%.Targets set till December have been met with regard to 18 countries among the top 40 destinations, the government data showed. 

The covid-19 pandemic has affected the services sector the most but even this segment has seen a rise in exports. India’s total export in services for April-December 2021 was $178.81 billion compared to $150.08 billion in April-December 2020, according to Reserve Bank of India data till October 2021 and projections till December 2021. This is a growth of 19.14 % over 2020-21 and 11.67% over 2019-20.

“We are well on track to go up to $230 billion in services exports in current fiscal or upwards of that, which will also be historic high. This is despite travel and tourism having seen a big setback. This clearly demonstrates the resilience of the Indian economy," the commerce minister said.

India is looking for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UAE, which is close to finalisation, Goyal said.

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