India’s June exports rise by over 4 percent

Jul 14, 2017 0

New Delhi–India’s exports rose by 4.39 per cent during June 2017, official data showed on Friday.

Exports grew by 4.39 per cent to $23.56 billion from $22.57 billion worth of merchandise shipped out during June 2016, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

“Exports have been exhibiting positive growth for the last nine months. In continuation with growth indicated by exports since September 2016, exports during June 2017 have shown growth of 4.39 per cent in dollar terms valued at $23,562.62 million as compared to $22,572.30 million during June, 2016,” the ministry said in a statement.

“During June 2017, major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of last year are engineering goods (14.78 per cent), petroleum products (3.60), organic and inorganic chemicals (13.20), rice (27.29) and marine products (24.27).”

However, the country’s imports during the month under review also increased by 19.01 per cent to $36.52 billion. India’s oil imports during June increased by 12.04 percent to $8.12 billion. (IANS)

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Exporters want PM to protect Basmati sales to Europe

Jul 5, 2017 0

New Delhi– Rice exporters have appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene to postpone the European Union’s decision by two years to reduce tolerance level of fungicide tricyclazole to near-zero level.

The All India Rice Exporters Association (AIREA) on Wednesday said the virtual ban on tricyclazole, which is widely used by Basmati farmers, will not just affect traders but have negative impact on farmers’ livelihood.

A delegation led by the Commerce Ministry is set to visit the EU next week to resolve the issue.

The EU has decided to bring down minimum residue level (MRL) for Basmati rice from one ppm to 0.01 ppm from January 2018, which means the rice exports to the EU will come down almost to zero.

“It is not possible for our farmers to stop use of tricyclazole immediately as it is effective and cheap. We need time to educate our farmers to bring down its use or find alternative. However, all these cannot be done in a short time,” AIREA President Vijay Setia said.

“We want the Prime Minister to intervene and ask the EU to postpone the planned ban for two years so that we get time to settle the matter.”

Tricyclazole is developed by Dow Agri Sciences and widely used to combat diseases such as leaf blast and neck blast affecting the paddy crop.

The current MRL in the US and India is three while it is nine in Japan. There are no scientific evidences of the harmful effects of the tricyclazole on human health, Setia added.

Brigadier (Retd) J.S. Oberoi of LT Foods said India can go to the World Trade Organisation claiming disruption of trade. “However, it is a lengthy process and may not be effective.”

Setia said if Indian Pusa Basmati rice failed to make it to Europe, Pakistan will be the biggest beneficiary as its Super Basmati rice — close competitor to Indian Basmati rice — comes without tricyclazole residue.

According to the AIREA, 3.5 lakh tonnes of Basmati rice is exported to the EU from India every year while Pakistan exports 30-40 thousands tonnes. (IANS)

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GST will help India in e-commerce export, but clarity on policy needed

Jun 12, 2017 0

By Porisma P. Gogoi

New Delhi– Though e-commerce players are expecting a surge in exports after the roll-out of India’s landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform, industry stakeholders feel there is a need to expand the categories for benefits under the export policy.

“The subsuming of major central and state taxes in GST, complete and comprehensive set-off of input goods and services and phasing out of central sales tax (CST) would reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services,” Vishwas Shringi, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Voylla Fashion, told IANS.

“This will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and give a boost to exports.”

A few players in the e-commerce sector feel that under the current foreign trade policy, there is a “lack of clarity” in terms of e-commerce exports.

“The policy is not foolproof right now. It is just an overview… not the in-depth information on what exactly the process and procedure is,” Navin Mistry, Director of Retail Exports, eBay India, told IANS. “The custom process of how to ship an item is not so clear,” he added.

Under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), introduced by the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20, the Commerce Ministry gives benefits to several products as “duty credit scrips”. However, the category of products in e-commerce exports, which are eligible for those benefits, are very limited, said Mistry.

“The policy is limited to only six categories. It does not expand to gems and jewellery or any new category. There is potential, but people are not aware about. That is the fundamental problem right now,” he said, adding that it is a challenge for a very small or a medium-sized player to come online because they do not understand the policy clearly.

According to a study titled “Exploring Potential of E-Commerce for Retail Exports of Indian MSMEs in Manufacturing Sector”, the total potential for business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce retail exports from India is estimated at approximately $26 billion, of which $2 billion can be achieved by 2020 from 16 product categories.

It highlighted that in order to provide a fillip to exports of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through e-commerce, there is an urgent need for the government to recognise retail e-commerce exports as an industry and work towards removing regulatory barriers including reviewing the FTP policy.

The study was jointly prepared by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade-Centre for MSME Studies and Apex Cluster Development Services. It
was also supported by e-commerce platform eBay India.

E-commerce major Amazon India recently came up with a workshop for small and medium businesses to educate them on the global opportunity, brand building, documentation, listing methodology and services.

“Since our launch in India in June 2013, we have been continually exploring opportunities to support the growth of Indian sellers in the emerging digital economy,” an Amazon India spokesperson, who declined to be named, said.

“As part of this, we launched our Global Selling Program here in 2015 that enables Indian businesses to take their ‘Made in India’ products to millions of active customers across the globe through Amazon’s 10 global marketplaces.”

Mistry said: “There are policy hurdles, but all fundamental pieces need to work together. It is the fundamental job of the policymakers and all agencies that are part of the chain to enable better ease of doing business.”

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India approves $9 billion export credit with South Korea

Jun 7, 2017 0

New Delhi– The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of South Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of $9 billion for infrastructural development in India and for the supply of goods and services as part of projects in third countries.

The MoU is proposed to be signed between the two banks during the forthcoming visit of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to Seoul, South Korea, on June 14-15 for the Annual Financial Bilateral Dialogue, an official statement said here.

The decision is expected to promote the country’s international exports, and deepen political and financial ties between India and South Korea.

“The export credit will be utilised through lending by EXIM Bank for promoting projects for priority sectors, including smart cities, railways, power generation and transmission etc., in India and for the supply of goods and services from India and South Korea as part of projects in third countries,” the statement said.

Under the implementation strategy, the parties to the MoU will hold mutual consultations to structure the financial assistance, review the existing arrangements and related procedures.

EXIM Bank will identify viable projects in India. For projects in third countries, both parties will jointly identify viable projects, the statement added. (IANS)

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India’s seafood exports at record high, up 23 percent

Jun 7, 2017 0

New Delhi–Riding a robust demand for its frozen shrimp and fish, India exported 11,34,948 tonnes of seafood worth $5.78 billion (Rs 37,870.90 crore) in 2016-17, 23 per cent more over the $4.69 billion figure a year earlier, the government said on Wednesday.

India exported 9,45,892 tonnes of seafood in 2015-16.

With the US and SouthEast Asia continuing to be major importers, the demand from the European Union grew substantially during the period, a Commerce Ministry statement said.

“Increased production of L. Vannamei (whiteleg shrimp), diversification of aquaculture species, sustained measures to ensure quality and increase in infrastructure facilities for production of value-added products are largely responsible for India’s positive growth in seafood exports,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said.

“Frozen shrimp maintained its top position in exports, accounting for 38.28 per cent in quantity and 64.50 per cent of total earnings in dollar terms. Shrimp exports increased by 16.21 per cent in quantity and 20.33 per cent in dollar terms. Frozen fish was the second largest export item, accounting for a share of 26.15 per cent and 11.64 per cent in dollar earnings, a growth of 26.92 per cent in terms of value,” the statement said.

The US imported 1,88,617 tonnes of Indian seafood, accounting for 29.98 per cent in dollar terms. Export to the US registered a growth of 22.72 per cent, 33 per cent and 29.82 per cent in quantity and value in rupee and US dollars respectively.

SouthEast Asia remained the second largest destination of India’s marine products, with a share of 29.91 per cent in dollar terms, followed by the EU (17.98 per cent), Japan (6.83 per cent), the Middle East (4.78 per cent), China (3.50 per cent) and other countries (7.03 per cent).

Overall, exports to SouthEast Asia increased by 47.41 per cent in quantity, 52.84 per cent in rupee value and 49.90 per cent in dollar earnings.

The export of Vannamei shrimp, a major seafood delicacy, improved from 2,56,699 tonnes to 3,29,766 tonnes in 2016-17, a growth of 28.46 per cent in quantity.

In value terms, 49.55 per cent of total Vannamei shrimp was exported to the US followed by 23.28 per cent to SouthEast Asian countries, 13.17 per cent to the EU, 4.53 per cent to Japan, 3.02 per cent to the Middle East and 1.35 per cent to China.

Japan was the major market for Black Tiger shrimp with a share of 43.84 per cent in terms of value, followed by the US (23.44 per cent) and SouthEast Asia (11.33 per cent).

Frozen shrimp continued to be the principal export item to the US with a share of 94.77 per cent in dollar value while Vannamei shrimp to that country showed an increase of 25.60 per cent in quantity and 31.75 per cent in dollar terms.

The EU continued to be the third largest destination for Indian marine products with a share of 16.73 per cent in quantity.

Frozen shrimp was the major item of exports, accounting for 40.66 per cent in quantity and 55.15 per cent in dollar earnings out of the total exports to the EU. Exports of Vannamei shrimp to the EU improved by 9.76 per cent in quantity and 11.40 per cent in dollar value.

Japan, the fourth largest destination for Indian seafood, accounted for 6.83 per cent in earnings and 6.08 per cent in quantity terms.

Frozen shrimp continued to be the major item of exports to Japan with a share of 45.31 per cent in quantity and 77.29 per cent in value.

India’s other major seafood product was frozen squid, which recorded a growth of 21.50 per cent, 59.44 per cent and 57 per cent in terms of quantity, rupee value and dollar earnings respectively.

Export of frozen cuttlefish showed a decline in quantity terms, but increased in rupee value and dollar terms by 18.85 per cent and 16.95 per cent respectively, it said. (IANS)

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New air route to help Odisha export mangoes to Southeast Asia

May 19, 2017 0

By Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar–Put this down to connectivity. After Bangladesh, Odisha’s mangoes are soon expected to find a market in Southeast Asia — thanks to a new flight from Biju Patnaik International Airport here.

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia started its first international flight from the city airport to Kuala Lumpur on April 26 this year — and that has prompted the state government to explore the possibility of mango exports to Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries.

“We are preparing a feasibility study to export mangoes to Southeast Asia. The Horticulture Department has already approached the Odisha Agricultural Marketing Board (OAMB) and other stakeholders, including some e-marketing agencies,” Sankarsan Rout, Assistant Director, Horticulture, told IANS.

He said they would help farmers’ cooperatives to sell their products to other parts of the country as well as overseas.

“The mangoes of Odisha meet all quality parameters for exports. What we need to do is to tap the market. The government is in talks with various stakeholders for exporting the fruit,” Barada Prasanna Choudhury, marketing consultant to OAMB, told IANS.

To facilitate the global and domestic trading of mangoes, the Horticulture Department has set up Dhenkanal Fruits & Vegetables Marketing Co. Ltd. with processing and packaging facilities.

The state government is also likely to rope in online trading platform NCDEX E-Marketing Ltd. (NEML) for marketing the mangoes, sources said.

On the home front, north India and Mumbai have long been a destination for Odisha’s mangoes.

Odisha produces nearly 800,000 tonnes of mangoes every year — making it the sixth-largest mango-growing state in India, which accounts for over 60 per cent of global production.

Of the mangoes produced in Odisha, high-end varieties like Amrapalli, Dussehri, Mallika, Keshari and Langada account for some 40 per cent.

Dhenkanal, Angul, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Boudh are the districts where a bulk of the mangoes are grown. The varieties that dominate the Indian market are Baiganpalli, Dussehri, Amrapalli, Kesari Totapuri, Latsundari, Mallika, Subarnarekha, Himasagar, Neelum and Chausa.

Mangoes from India are popular in the Middle East, the Far East, the United States and European countries.

The export volumes are expected to rise as new countires like South Korea and Iran have allowed the import of Indian mangoes.

According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), India’s mango exports are likely to surpass last year’s level and touch the 50,000 tonne mark in the ongoing fiscal, buoyed by strong demand and supply of export- quality fruit. (IANS)

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India’s March exports up by over 27 percent

Apr 13, 2017 0

New Delhi– India’s exports revival continued for the seventh straight month, recording 27.59 per cent growth during March 2017, official data showed on Thursday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, exports grew by 27.59 per cent to $29.23 billion from $22.91 billion worth of merchandise shipped out during March 2016.

“Non-petroleum and non gems and jewellery exports in March 2017 were valued at $ 21,420.91 million against $ 17,071 million in March 2016, an increase of 25.5 per cent,” the ministry said in a statement.

However, the country’s imports during the month under review increased by 45.25 per cent to $39.66 billion.

India’s oil imports during last month exponentially increased by 101.43 per cent to $9.71 billion. Non-oil imports were up by 33.21 per cent, to $29.95 billion, from $22.48 billion in the corresponding month of last year.

Consequently, the trade deficit during the month under review stood at $10.43 billion from $4.39 billion reported for March 2016.

Cumulatively for 2016-17 fiscal year, exports rose by 4.71 per cent in US dollar terms at $274.64 billion, as against $262.29 billion worth of merchandise shipped out in 2015-16.

In contrast, imports bill for the April-March 2016-17 period inched down by 0.17 per cent to $380.36 billion from $381 billion for 2015-16.

Accordingly, the trade deficit during the fiscal year under review stood at $105.72 billion from $118.71 billion in 2015-16.  (IANS)

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Slaughterhouse ban to hit leather goods industry, hit exports

Apr 1, 2017 0

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

Kolkata– Leather goods manufacturers, who have experienced a slump in raw material supply from domestic sources, fear that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Uttar Pradesh government’s action against illegal slaughterhouses could hit supplies and raise prices.

They also say a “blanket ban” on slaughterhouses could defeat the purpose of the Make in India programme for the $12 billion Indian leather industry, which is among the top five in the world’s leather market.

In case of short supply of raw materials from the indigenous market, manufacturers need to look for costly imports of raw materials instead of cheap domestic sourcing which would make Indian leather exports less competitive in the world market.

“The crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses by the Uttar Pradesh government cannot be questioned, but a blanket ban will affect the domestic supply of raw material. Since illegal units were in the supply chain, some amount of short supply is expected,” Tapan Nandi, Convenor Chairman for German Investment in India of the Council of Leather Export, told IANS.

According to industry sources, Uttar Pradesh being a large state contributes a majority of raw material supply along with Punjab, Bihar and West Bengal.

“A blanket ban on slaughterhouses would nudge manufacturers to depend more on imported raw materials, which are costly. If the imports go up, that will add to the cost of Indian leather products and we will lose our competitiveness in the world market. Thus, the Make in India programme could be impacted,” he said.

According to the Council of Leather Export, India produces about three billion sq ft of raw leather annually. The country’s leather industry is bestowed with an affluence of raw materials as India is endowed with 21 per cent of the world’s cattle and buffaloes and 11 per cent of the world’s goat and sheep population.

“The domestic raw material supplies have been showing a declining trend mainly because our exports were hurt. About 2,000 tanneries in India have been facing a crunch in supplies. About seven per cent of fallen animals are not being sourced for value addition,” Nandi said.

India’s export of leather and leather products for the financial year 2015-16 recorded a negative growth of 9.86 per cent, touching $5.85 billion as against $6.49 billion in previous year.

“It is too early to say whether the illegal slaughterhouse ban in Uttar Pradesh will impact the supply. But some apprehension prevails if a large-scale ban is executed,” Adhar Sahni, Vice President, Indian Leather Products Association, told IANS.

However, imports of finished leather have been increasing at a rate of 15-20 per cent year-on-year.

“Imports are rising according the need of the products. If orders of leather products require imported raw materials, imports will accordingly rise,” Sahni said.

Nandi, however, asked, “If the ban on slaughterhouses, mainly cow slaughter houses, is a political decision, the imports of raw materials, particularly cow hide and skin, should be a sensitive matter for the political parties. Isn’t it?” (IANS)

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India imposes 10% import duty on wheat, tur dal

Mar 28, 2017 0

New Delhi–The government on Tuesday imposed 10 per cent import duty on wheat and tur dal (arhar) with immediate effect.

The move is aimed at protecting farmers’ interest in the wake of bumper harvest this year.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance, informed Lok Sabha that amendments were made in a notification to impose basic customs duty of 10 per cent on wheat and tur with immediate effect.

In December last year, the government had scrapped the 10 per cent import duty on wheat amid rising domestic prices and concerns of a dip in buffer stocks following two consecutive drought years.

As wheat harvest has started arriving in the market, the decision to impose import duty will help to contain fall in the prices and ensure fair support price to the farmers.

As per the government’s second advanced estimates, the production of wheat is estimated at 96.64 million tonnes this year, which is higher than the previous record production of 95.85 million tonnes in 2013-14.

Tur dal production is estimated to be 4.23 million tonnes this year. (IANS)

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India lifts ban on bulk export of certain edible oils

Mar 27, 2017 0

New Delhi–The Central government on Monday lifted the ban on the export of groundnut oil, soyabean oil, sesame oil and maize oil in bulk quantities, an official statement said.

Earlier, there was restriction on the bulk export of these edible oils and it was only permitted in branded consumer pack of 5 kgs.

“Export of groundnut oil, sesame oil, soyabean oil, and maize (corn) oil in bulk, irrespective of any pack size, has been exempted from the prohibition on export of edible oils,” said a Commerce Ministry notification.

Indian Oilseeds and Produce Export Promotion Council welcomed the move saying it would help both farmers and exporters.

“Farmers failed to get fair deal for produce of oilseeds especially groundnut and sesame due to poor procurement by the government and cap on its export in bulk quantity. The move will surely help farmers and exporters as they will get fair price,” said ist chairman Sanjiv Sawla.

He added that the move will provide Indian exporters level playing field in the global market since other competing countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Myanmar, Bangladesh do not have any restriction of bulk packing.

According to the IOPEC data, India produces about 5 million tonnes of groundnut oil, out of which just 10 per cent is exported.

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