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The Economic Times

India's engineering exports declines for fourth straight month in September

During September 2019, shipment of Indian engineering products stood at $6.36 billion as against $6.77 billion in the same month last fiscal.
A clearly visible global slowdown is biting Indian engineering exports, suffering setbacks in almost all the major destinations ,including the US, European Union, Middle East, South Asia or even CIS countries with September shipments conceding fourth straight monthly decline and fifth in fiscal 2019-20, according to EEPC India.

Following the broader merchandise trend, engineering exports from India witnessed 6.11% decline during September 2019. The engineering consignments, the main contributor to the country's overall export basket from India dropped in all months of fiscal 2019-20 barring May .

During September 2019, shipment of Indian engineering products stood at $6.36 billion as against $6.77 billion in the same month last fiscal. Cumulative engineering exports during April-September 2019-20 dropped to $38.74 billion from $40.26 billion during the same period last fiscal, registering 3.77 per cent decline.

Though the US remained the largest market for India's engineering exports during September this fiscal , valued at $954 million, the shipments were 8.77 per cent lower than $1.05 billion in the same month last year. Likewise, for cumulative period of April-September, engineering exports to the US dropped to $5.75 billion from $5.80 in the comparable six months of 2018-19.

"Data for most of our markets shows subdued trends, posing big challenges for Indian exporters. All the key stakeholders - exporting community, government, RBI and policy think tanks like NITI Aayog need to work together and re-strategise the approach towards exports in the fast deteriorating global markets, " said EEPC India chairman Mr Ravi Seghal. He said ,a comprehensive game plan must also be laid out to take the maximum advantage of the existing Free Trade Agreements with countries like South Korea, Japan and the ASEAN blocs.

The EEPC India data showed year-on-year drop in exports to most of the major markets in Europe in September, 2019 - be it UK (minus 18 per cent), Germany (minus 16 per cent), Belgium ( a huge 53 per cent setback) and the Netherlands (minus 5.67 per cent)

"We need to double down on cutting our costs of production, transport and logistics like warehousing. Besides, our cost of funding is still amongst the highest in the world. Despite 135 basis points cut in the policy interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India, banks have not transmitted the reduction even by half of this amount. We are faced with outlook of slowdown in global trade and we need to rise upto this challenge,'' the EEPC India chairman said, adding that the government has a major supporting role.
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