Exports zoom 50% in February 2011

The recovery in the West is showing on Indian exports which grew 49.8%, the fastest pace of expansion seen in 11 months. Provisional numbers estimated exports at $23.6 billion during February and took the cumulative numbers for the current financial year beyond the $200 billion target for 2010-11. Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said that exports rose 31.4% during April-February to $208.2 billion and prompted the government to revise the annual projection. “We crossed the $200 billion-mark in February and now our forecast this fiscal is around $235 billion,” he said. This year, exports have been propelled by traditional areas of strength such as engineering (81% growth to $52.7 billion during April-February) as well as newer items such as petroleum (34% growth to $32.9 billion) and pharmaceuticals (15% to $9.1 billion). The impact of the prolonged slowdown and the consequent fall in demand was evident on two Indian strongholds—gems & jewellery, where the value of shipments has increased by 5.4% to $26.9 billion and readymade garments, where exports went up 2% to $10 billion during April-February. While exports are galloping, imports in recent months have shown lower growth. According to the provisional numbers, imports went up 21% this February to $31.7 billion, compared to $26 billion a year ago.

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