Exports approaching US$400bn and 2% share
India’s Exports have seen on a tear this year. YTD (April – November), Merchandise exports have grown 50% YoY. While the decline in exports last year is optically overstating the growth this year, even when compared with 2019, exports have been very strong this year. In the first 8 months of the current year, exports are 25% above the level of the pre-pandemic year of FY20. Imports, in contrast, have been 20% above the FY20 level during this period.
And this strong pace in exports has continued in recent months as well. In the last 3 months, exports have grown 27% compared to the same period in 2019. Almost all key categories of exports, with the notable exception of Gems & Jewellery and Ready-made garments, have seen strong growth YTD relative to 2019.
In absolute terms, India’s merchandise exports have totalled US$263bn. At their current run rate, exports for the full year will come very close to the US$400bn mark (~US$395bn). This will be 20% higher than the previous all-time high exports of US$330bn in FY19.
Admittedly, a part of this growth is due to a surge in the global goods trade. Global goods trade is itself running well above the pre-pandemic level. There are thus global tailwinds to India’s export performance. But India’s exports have even outperformed global exports by a sizeable margin. Thus, global exports (as proxied by a sample of ~70 countries accounting for over 90% of global exports) from April to September this year have been 18% higher than during the same period of 2019. But India’s exports have grown 25% during this period. Consequently, India’s share in world exports is approaching 2%, the highest ever.