India’s export orders are beginning to pick up as several countries look for supply sources other than from China. The additional orders and queries have come in from countries such as the US, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Canada. The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) said that the number of queries for sourcing goods are about 20 per cent more than the pre-Covid times and about 60 per cent of these have been turned into orders.
Official data showed that exports in the first week of September increased 13.35 per cent year-on-year to $6.12 billion.
The US-China trade war, which has led to a rise in uncertainty for China, has also driven many countries to look for alternative import sources.
Demand for engineering goods, chemicals, agro-products and food, plastic and technical textile—the textile which is used for industrial purposes such as the automobile and medical sectors—are particularly in demand.
“We have seen a very good increase in the number of queries and about 60 per cent of these queries have been turned into orders,” Ajay Sahai, director general and CEO, FIEO, told www.indianarrative.com.
“Many countries, we have noticed, are not very comfortable in importing dibble items from China after the pandemic, and this has proved to be beneficial for India. Besides, there is the issue of tariff in the US-China trade war context, and most important is the fact that countries are seriously looking for supply sources other than China,” Sahai said.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch’s (SJM’s) national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said that in the near future the trend will get accentuated.
“The world is moving away from China, which enjoys no trust. Not just trade but the increasing disengagement with China in almost all spheres of economy is visible. In the coming months, this trend will be even more pronounced,” Mahajan said, adding that India could turn a winner due to its size and demography. He also said that this has led to the appreciation of the rupee.
However, availability of labor remains an area of concern. Amid the nationwide stringent lockdown, lakhs of migrant laborers returned to their native places. While many workers have returned to cities, uncertainty continues which can impact businesses if not addressed at the earliest.
Demand for lifestyle items such as handicrafts, apparels, footwear and carpets, however, is yet to see a huge pick up, though two exporters, www.indianarrative.com spoke to, said that orders for next year have started coming in.
“Typically, the Christmas-New Year’s season for us is very good as we are flooded with orders from Europe. This year, it has been a wash-out with practically no orders coming in for these items, though the silver lining is that orders for next spring season has started to come in,” a Gurgaon-based exporter of handicraft items said.