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India registers double-digit trade growth in Q3 FY19 – Maersk

The upward movement in global commodity prices, depreciation of the Indian rupee ,and the recent shipping-logistics reforms such as liberalised cabotage policy and direct port delivery, have been instrumental for the double-digit trade growth for India during the third quarter of 2018, says Steve Felder, MD , Maersk Line, South Asia.

Commenting on the Q3 trade report released by Maersk, he said: “Increasing competitiveness of Indian exports, coupled with improved demand across destinations has propelled exports, particularly of vehicles, mechanical appliances, and refrigerated cargo such as onion, meat, seafood, and pharmaceuticals. While exports from India registered a 10 per cent growth, imports too rose nine per cent year-on-year, largely dominated by heavy inflow of paper, metals and white goods. The containerised market displayed strength with far less fluctuation compared to the previous year.”

“Investments by Chinese firms in environmental processes has led to an increase in their cost of production. This coupled with appreciating yuan, has reduced their production cost advantage, benefiting India,” he added.

Preferred for trade
“India is emerging as a favourable trade destination for both advanced and emerging markets with vehicles, metals, seafood and pharma playing a key role on the export front,” said Felder , adding that the US, UAE and Nigeria have become significant export destinations for exporters from West India.

The upswing witnessed by the local manufacturing sector during the last few quarters is reflective of the demand for India-made goods.

Exports from west India witnessed a contraction of 15 per cent in Q3 of 2017, whereas it increased 10 per cent during the corresponding period of 2018.

The rising demand for chemicals, metals and machinery from East India prompted imports to grow by nine per cent from countries like US, Canada, UK and South Korea.

On the outlook for 2019, Felder said “while it looks positive at this juncture, the logistics infrastructure needs strengthening. The Government is working towards this, as is evident from the various initiatives. Further, the benefits of cabotage relaxation and streamlining of exporters’ GST refunds, digitisation and blockchain technology in the supply chain infrastructure is set to transform the logistics industry in the coming years.”
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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