Exports venturing into uncharted territories of Africa, Central Asia, European regions: Commerce Ministry

India has penetrated into what are termed as "absolutely new markets" in regions such as Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and North America during April-December 2023.
Representational Image.
Representational Image.(Photo | Pexels)

NEW DELHI: At a time when global trade is facing geo-political uncertainties, India's exports of goods like automobiles and gold jewellery have ventured into uncharted territories of Central Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to an analysis by the commerce ministry.

The analysis has shown that India has penetrated into what are termed as "absolutely new markets" in regions such as Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and North America during April-December 2023.

The "absolutely new markets" refer to areas where India did see any export during April-December 2022, but healthy growth of certain principal commodities like motor vehicles, two- and three-wheelers, petroleum products, sugar, gold and other precious jewellery were recorded in April-December 2023.

Exports of these commodities to the absolutely new markets during April-December 2023 stood at USD 234 million as against nil shipments during the same period of 2022.

It added that these commodities captured a greater number of markets in the Central Asia, Africa, and European regions.

"A comprehensive examination of country-wise exports underscores a notable diversification of markets for India's merchandise exports, characterised by the exploration of new export destinations, in spite of strong global headwinds with subdued performance globally," an official said.

The official added that after evaluating the market diversification of the country's merchandise exports across major sectors at the principal commodity level, comparing the periods from April-December 2022-23 to April-December 2023-24, significant advancements in market diversification emerged in the current fiscal.

These diversified markets are termed as "absolutely new", "new", and "promising".

"Together, exports to these markets capture 5 per cent of India's total exports of 42 principal commodities to the world.

These commodities span across 16 important sectors of India's export basket," the official added.

In the new markets, where India's exports share of goods like ceramics and allied products, aluminium, products of aluminium, two- and three-wheelers, products of iron and steel, electric machinery and equipments was meagre or nil has jumped to USD 2.17 billion during April-December 2023.

These items have captured a greater number of markets in the America, Central Asian, and African regions.

The analysis showed that the export of two- and three-wheelers has been headed to 31 new markets/countries with a total exported value of USD 110 million in the April-December 2023 period.

Similarly, in the "promising markets" such as North and South American, European, and African regions, where the share of the country's outbound shipments of these commodities was less than 1 per cent, has now increased to USD USD 8.6 billion during the first nine months period of this fiscal.

"Despite challenging global conditions, India has demonstrated notable export growth, maintaining its position in established markets while proactively exploring new ones," the official said.

This strategy not only reduces dependency on specific markets but also enhances India's competitiveness and contributes to economic development, the official added.

India's exports rose to a three-month high of 3.12 per cent to USD 36.92 billion in January despite global uncertainties, including the Red Sea crisis, while the trade deficit narrowed to a nine-month low of USD 17.49 billion.

Cumulatively, exports during the April-January period of this fiscal dipped 4.89 per cent to USD 353.92 billion. Imports contracted 6.71 per cent to USD 561.12 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 207.2 billion in the 10-month period of this fiscal as against USD 229.37 billion in April-January 2022-23.

The Red Sea crisis is impacting exporters as it has pushed up transportation costs as they are taking a longer route -- via Cape of Good Hope, encircling Africa -- to ship their goods to Europe and certain parts of Africa.

War in Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas too is impacting the global exports and imports.

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