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India’s merchandise exports hit a record-high $418 billion in 2021-22

India’s merchandise exports reached a record $418 billion in 2021-22, nearly 5 per cent higher than the government’s target and registering a 40 per cent growth over the previous year, official data showed.

“India has exported $418 billion for the first time in its history. This is more than the target. It has crossed $40 billion in exports in March alone, the maximum in a single month. India’s diversified export portfolio in 2021-22 shows India’s manufacturing abilities, and growth in hi-tech goods, electronics, and agricultural products.,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said at a press briefing on April 3, 2022.

Export grew by $40.38 billion in March 2022

Exports in March rose to $40.38 billion from $34 billion last year, driven by strong growth in petroleum products, engineering, gems and jewellery, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, according to data released by the commerce and industry ministry on April 3, 2022.

Exports in March registered a growth of 14.5 per cent over the same month in 2021 and 87.9 per cent in March 2020. With this, exports of goods crossed the crucial $30-billion mark in each of the last 12 months.

Top export destination for India

The US continued to remain the top export destination for India in FY22, while the UAE regained the second spot. Bangladesh, Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, Belgium and Germany were other key export destinations.

Top export products in FY22

Official data shows that petroleum products were the biggest driver of exports, with an annual growth of 151 per cent. The exports of cotton yarn, fabrics, made-up etc. (55 per cent), gems and jewellery (50 per cent), engineering goods (46 per cent), electronics (41 per cent), and organic and inorganic chemicals (32 per cent) also registered a huge growth.

Farm exports also touched a record $50 billion in FY22. These are driven by higher outbound shipments of rice ($9.6 billion), marine products ($8 billion), wheat ($2 billion), spices and sugar ($6 billion). Appreciating the performance of the agriculture sector, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that high growth in exports was achieved in the times of pandemic when India had emerged as a major global supplier of food and essential agricultural products.

The minister pointed out that India is entering into a free trade agreement (FTA) aimed at increasing exports of finished or intermediate goods. “Iron ore and cotton are the two raw materials that we are exporting on a large scale. We are also exporting processed goods on a large scale. The FTAs ​​we are negotiating are also aimed at increasing exports of value-added goods,” he said.

India on Saturday entered into an interim trade agreement with Australia, allowing over 95 per cent of Indian goods duty-free access to the Australian market from the day the agreement came into force. In February, India and the United Arab Emirates also signed a comprehensive FTA that would immediately eliminate duties for 90 per cent of India’s exports to the United Arab Emirates on reduced value terms, including gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, and engineering goods from the day the pact comes into force.

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