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Dec, 29 2015

Crisis for entire agri exports: Assocham

During the period April-November 2015, total exports were US$174.3 billion with a decline of 18.5 per cent over corresponding period figure of US$213.8 billion.

In 2015-2016, lowering the outlook for Indian exports to US$255-260 billion, recently ASSOCHAM maintained that the sector is in real crisis and has engulfed entire agri exports witnessing sharp falls.

The country’s merchandise exports in 2014-15 were US$310 billion and the ASSOCHAM had in September this year forecast the overseas shipments to be around US$265-268 billion. However, given the declines in the last few months, the chamber is revising its outlook downward, disagreeing with a pre-dominant government view as if there is no big problem in the sector.

During the period April-November 2015, total exports were US$174.3 billion with a decline of 18.5 per cent over corresponding period figure of US$213.8 billion.

“In fact, the November 2015 official data shows that out of 30 top commodities, 23 reported negative trend. As against the assertion that all is not that bad in sectors other than non-oil, non-gems and jewellery, the data clearly shows a crisis like situation in host of areas like marine products, leather and leather products, coffee, spices, cotton yarn-fabs-made ups, meat and dairy products, rice and chemicals,” said ASSOCHAM.

It also said, the chamber would agree more with the Mid-Year Economic Review, authored by chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian than an assessment of commerce ministry regarding impact of the exports decline on GDP growth.

The chamber quoted the Mid–Year Review which said, “Declining exports seem to be predominantly determined by a decline in world demand. Regardless of the causes, the effect has been a drag on growth. This drag has been about 1.0 percentage point even relative to last year.”

Sunil Kanoria, President, ASSOCHAM said, “There is no point shying away from the crisis, if it is there. The answer lies in recognising the problem without sweeping it under the carpet and then finding a way out. After all, nobody in India or elsewhere, for that matter can be blamed for the global crash in demand.” 

He said it would also not be correct to take consolation in the fact that the exports have fallen marginally in rupee terms. “India’s Balance of Payment is calculated along with the Current Account Deficit in dollar terms and exports have a major contribution…thus cannot just take comfort in just about currency depreciation.”

In November, 2015 coffee exports were down by 10.82 per cent, spices by 15.75 per cent, meat dairy and poultry 19 per cent, marine products 10 per cent and rice down by 37 per cent. Thus, the meltdown is well spread, ASSOCHAM added.

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