Two-wheeler exports from India rise 19.5% in April-January

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Feb 10, 2019

New Delhi: At a time when two-wheeler manufacturers are finding sales moving at a slow pace in the domestic market, their exports have risen by 19.49 per cent in the April-January period this fiscal, according to the latest data from auto industry body SIAM.

Total two-wheeler exports during the period stood at 27,59,935 units as compared with 23,09,805 units a year ago, showed the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data. The growth in exports of two-wheelers from the country is driven mainly by motorcycles and scooters.

Motorcycle shipments to foreign markets during the period stood at 24,12,800 units as against 20,34,250 units in the corresponding period last fiscal, up 18.61 per cent. Likewise, scooter exports zoomed by 26.67 per cent to 3,32,197 units as compared to 2,62,253 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said. Exports of mopeds grew by 12.3 per cent to 14,938 units, against 13,302 units a year ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Indian cotton fabric, yarn exports fall due to high duties: Study

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 10, 2019

New Delhi: India is lagging in cotton exports to major markets due to a duty disadvantage vis-a-vis Bangladesh, Vietnam and Pakistan, a Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) study found.

Indian export of cotton yarn to the likes of the European Union (EU) and China slumped 25% in the past five years, while fabric export fell 7%. Read the rest of this entry »

Solar imports from Thailand, Singapore & Vietnam surge

Source: Financial Express, Feb 08, 2019

While the safeguard duty imposed in July last year on solar module imports from China and Malaysia and ‘developed countries’ has put the brakes on shipments from these locations, the imports have since surged from a few other countries, including Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

In April-November 2018, imports of solar cells and modules from Singapore (Rs 489 crore), Vietnam (Rs 263 crore) and Thailand (Rs 155 crore) recorded an annual growth rate of 242%, 440% and 2,711%, respectively. Even though the import volumes from these countries are still low compared with the overall imports (in April-November the total imports stood at Rs 8,947 crore, down 41% year-on-year), the continued imports of Chinese modules for the Central government-run projects (read NTPC and SECI), where the safeguard duty costs are allowed as a pass-through, is somewhat negating the benefit of the duty for local manufacturers of solar equipment.

The value of solar imports increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 47.6% during FY16-18. About 88% of module requirements were met through imports in FY18, mostly from China. Solar imports from China fell by about 48% in April-November 2018 to Rs 6,974 crore.

“About 3GW to 4GW of existing NTPC SECI projects are buying Chinese product as they have been allowed pass-through of safeguard duty cost,” Sunil Rathi, director sales, Waaree Energies, told FE. “Capacity addition not taking place on satisfactory levels and domestic capacity utilisation factors are still low,” Rathi added. Waaree Energies has 1,500 MW of manufacturing capacity in India.

The imposition of the safeguard duty has also led to a slowdown in solar capacity addition in the country as local solar equipment are usually 8-10% costlier than imported ones and modules comprise about 60% of total project costs. In the first nine months of FY19, 3.6 GW of solar projects were added, 25% lower than the capacity addition in the year-ago period.

The government in July last year imposed 25% safeguard duty on import of solar cells for a year ending July 29, 2019. The duty would be 20% for the next six months, till January 29, 2020, and 15% in the subsequent six months. India has an ambitious target to increase its solar capacity to 100 GW by 2022 from 25 GW at present.

Lamenting on the lack of any proposal for solar manufacturers in the recent budget, Amit Gupta, legal and business affairs head, Vikram Solar, said “the industry was expecting a policy direction from the government to promote manufacturing, especially in the renewable energy sector in the background of job crisis, which India is facing right now”.

India’s 2018 thermal coal imports grew at fastest pace in 4 years

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 28, 2019

India’s 2018 thermal coal imports rose at the fastest pace in four years, according to two industry sources, despite moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut imports in a bid to reduce its trade deficit.

Coal is among the top five commodities imported by India, one of the world’s largest consumers of coal, and the rise in imports of the fuel after two consecutive years of decline adds to its trade deficit. That trade gap has been hurting the valuation of the rupee, the worst performing major Asian currency in 2018.

Thermal coal imports jumped 19 per cent to 171.85 million tonnes in 2018, the highest since 2014, according to data from American Fuels & Natural Resources, a Dubai-based trader of US origin coal. Thermal coal is mainly used to produce electricity.

Imports of coking coal, which is mainly used in the manufacturing of steel, rose at the quickest rate since 2015, according to consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie and American Fuels & Natural Resources. Read the rest of this entry »

India keen to triple exports to Argentina, eyes additional $1.5 bn trade

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 29, 2019

NEW DELHI: India wants to triple exports to Argentina, eyeing an additional $1.5 billion worth of shipments, and is seeking market access for apparel, textiles, folding bicycles and home furnishing products in the South American country.

Ahead of Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s likely visit to India next month, India is also keen to promote ethnic products such as Alphonso mangoes and Khadi.

“Sophisticated high-end bicycles and bicycle components alone have the potential to offer a $1-billion export opportunity to Indian exporters with another $300-350 million coming from the apparel and textiles industry. There might be collaborations with companies from both countries,” said an official aware of the details.

Indian exporters of office stationery, handicrafts and home furnishing products have pushed for the removal of non-tariff barriers such as custom clearances to help increase current exports of $10 million to $100 million. Exporters also want a reduction in the 25% import duty on sports equipment.

India’s exports to Argentina were $708.7 million in 2017-18, consisting mainly of organic chemicals, vehicles and auto parts, lubricants, machinery, sound and image devices and garments. Imports from Argentina were $2.2 billion, mainly soybean oil, petroleum, copper, sunflower oil, leather, wool and ferroalloys.

“Our trade deficit with Argentina is because of import of agricultural products. We can export low value added products and construction material like PVC pipes and roof tiles. Our ceramic exports were doing well there but Argentina has applied anti-dumping duty on Indian ceramic and vitrified tiles,” said Mohit Singla, chairman of the Trade Promotion Council of India, an organisation under the Department of Commerce.

Lack of direct flight connectivity between LatAm and South Asia is a major roadblock in developing people-to-people interaction, travel and tourism. The two sides are likely to discuss this matter.

Singla said India can also invest in setting up hospitals and diagnostic labs in Argentina.

Govt likely to hike import curbs on various items, will spare gold

c.jpgSource: Business Standard, Sept 25, 2018

New Delhi: The Central government is likely to increase import duties on precious stones, certain types of steel and electronics but will spare gold to prevent smuggling, a finance ministry official said on Monday. The official, who declined to be named, told reporters the main reason for the planned increase in duties is to curb an inflow of items that normally move between China and the US, but could be redirected because of the tariffs imposed by the two countries. The government is also trying to curb imports of “non-essential” items to support the rupee, Asia’s worst performing currency, and considering cutting oil import. The rupee has fallen around 12 per cent this year, forcing the government to scramble for steps to arrest the fall. News agency NewsRise reported on Monday that the finance ministry was considering a proposal to float a special gold deposit programme to cut imports of the metal by recycling the metal inside the country. India is the world’s second-biggest gold buyer, after China, and spent $3.64 billion on such imports last month. The steel ministry has proposed increasing the effective import duty on some steel products to 15 per cent from current rates ranging from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent. Among other steps being considered to soften the blow from high crude oil prices and declining rupee is cutting oil purchases, said Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh. State refiners are looking at optimising crude oil inventory levels without in any way affecting fuel supplies in the domestic market, he told PTI on Monday.

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India-South Asia trade has potential to triple to $62 billion, says World Bank

bSource: The Economic Times, Sept 24, 2018

Deeper regional trade and connectivity has the potential to more than triple India’s trade with its South Asian neighbors, World Bank said in a report on Monday.

In a report titled ‘A Glass Half Full: The Promise of Regional Trade in South Asia’, the bank estimates India’s potential trade in goods with South Asia at $62 billion against its actual trade of $19 billion, which is a mere 3% of its global trade and about $43 billion below its potential.

Read the rest of this entry »