Maruti Suzuki report highest ever exports at 263,068 units, up 28% in 2022

Source: Business Standards, 03 January 2023

Maruti Suzuki India on Tuesday reported a 28 per cent rise in exports at 2,63,068 units in 2022, its highest ever overseas shipments.

The company’s previous highest exports was achieved in 2021 with 2,05,450 units.

The highest exported models in 2022 were Dzire, Swift, S-Presso, Baleno and Brezza, the company said in a statement.

“Crossing the 2 lakh milestone in exports for the second consecutive year signifies the trust, quality, reliability, performance, and affordability of our products,” Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) Managing Director & CEO Hisashi Takeuchi said.

He further said, “this achievement further aligns with our strong commitment to the government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative to manufacture products to delight global customers.”

The company said in 2022, it exported more than double the volume it exported in pre-COVID year 2019, which stood at 1,07,190 units.

In 2020, its exports had declined to 85,208 units due to the pandemic and supply chain constraints.

MSIL’s exports in 2018 were at 1,13,824 units.

The company had started exports in FY 1986-87, with its first consignment to Hungary. Since then it has increased its export market and the company at present ships its vehicles to around 100 countries.

Currently, it exports 16 models with regions like Africa, Middle East, Latin America and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) being the main markets.

India’s export destinations: Netherlands and Brazil leapfrog ahead

Source: Economic Times, 19 December 2022

Netherlands and Brazil have jumped ahead from their previous positions on India’s list of export destinations in the ongoing fiscal, a TOI report showed.

Citing commerce department data, the report highlights that the Netherlands is now India’s third-largest export destination. Brazil, India’s 20th biggest export destination between April and October 2021, is currently in the eighth position. US & UAE remain on top.

Exports to Tanzania have grown three times to $2.4 billion in the ongoing fiscal so far. Over 80% in exports from India are on account of more petrol and diesel shopped to the African nation.

While India’s total exports have risen 12.5% to over $263 billion, oil product
exports have soared around 70%.

While several countries have reduced their dependence on Russia-refined oil products, India, which has seen a sharp spike in crude imported from Russia, is seen to be processing it and exporting to many countries, especially in Europe.

India’s exports saw a marginal growth of 0.6 per cent to USD 32 billion in November, according to the data released by the government. Exports of the country stood at $31.8 billion in November last year.

Imports rose 5. 4 per cent to USD 55. 9 billion in November as compared to $53 billion in the corresponding month a year ago, the data showed. Trade deficit widened to $23. 9 billion during November month.

India’s overall export, which included both merchandise and services, stood at USD 58.22 billion in November, which showed a 10 per cent growth over the same period last year.

Gems, jewellery exports grow by 27.17 pc to Rs 30,195.21 crore in September: GJEPC

Source: Economic Times, 11 October 2022

Mumbai: India’s gems and jewellery exports rose 27.17 per cent to Rs 30,195.21 crore (USD 3,765.51 million) in September compared to the same month last year, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said on Monday. The overall gems and jewellery exports stood at Rs 23,743.46 crore (USD 3,227.63 million) in September 2021, according to GJEPC data. 

For the cumulative period of April-September 2022, the overall gross exports witnessed a growth of 12.82 per cent to Rs 1,61,545.06 crore (USD 20,580.11 million) compared to Rs 1,43,187.15 crore (USD 19,359.01 million) for the same period last year.

“The global consumer sentiments across key markets of the USA, Middle East and Hong Kong have continued to be favourable for the sector. Thailand, Switzerland, Singapore have emerged as new growth markets. The sector has achieved 45 per cent of its annual export target of USD 45.7 billion for the year 2022-23, and I am confident that if the current momentum continues, the sector will achieve its set target during the second half of FY23,” GJEPC chairman Vipul Shah said. 

Meanwhile, the overall gross export of Cut and Polished Diamonds (CPD) grew 21.99 per cent in September to Rs 17,107.64 crore (USD 2,134.91 million) against Rs 14,023.78 crore (USD 1,906.72 million) in the corresponding period of 2021. 

In September, the total export of gold jewellery (both plain and studded) witnessed a growth of 25.42 per cent to Rs 7,067.17 crore (USD 880.25 million) against Rs 5,634.86 crore (USD 765.7 million) for the same period last year.

The total gross export of plain gold jewellery witnessed a growth of 30.78 per cent to Rs 2,556.40 crore (USD 318.36 million) compared to Rs 1,954.78 crore (USD 265.74 million) for the same month last year. 

For September, the total gross export of all kinds of studded gold jewellery went up by 22.57 per cent to Rs 4,510.77 crore (USD 561.89 million) compared to Rs 3,680.08 crore (USD 499.96 million) in September last year.

During April-September, the provisional gross export of polished lab-grown diamonds soared 70.26 per cent to Rs 7,407.56 crore (USD 943.63 million) against Rs 4,350.81 crore (USD 587.76 million) for the same period last year.

The provisional gross export of coloured gemstones during April-September jumped by 54.62 per cent to Rs 1,642.93 crore (USD 209.27 million) against Rs 1,062.57 crore (USD 143.7 million) for the same month of FY22.

From April-September, provisional gross export of silver jewellery also witnessed a growth of 42.68 per cent to Rs 13,735.07 crore (USD 1,746.11 million) compared to Rs 9,626.64 crore (USD 1,300.41 million) for the same period last year.

During April-September, the provisional gross export of platinum jewellery grew 52.46 per cent to Rs 153.5 crore (USD 19.5 million) from Rs 100.68 crore (USD 13.6 million) for corresponding period last year.

“With a robust growth of gem and jewellery exports in September, the last quarter of the year is expected to be more fulfilling as sales will be driven by holiday season and festivities. However, cut and polished diamond exports continue to remain flat, witnessing decline of 1.27 per cent (in dollar terms) to USD 12,215.46 million during April-September compared to the same period last year,” Shah said.

On the other hand, plain gold jewellery has continued to gain traction with average growth of 19.43 per cent (in dollar terms) post the India-UAE CEPA, he noted.

“However, there are a few bottlenecks, which if resolved would further boost the gem and jewellery trade between India and the UAE. Lab-grown diamond exports continue to have a positive run, focused measures will further strengthen LGD exports from India,” he added

Challenges in Export Bill Regularisation in case of e-commerce exports and how exporters can address them

Source: Economic Times, 30 September 2022

Indian Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which contribute to over a third of the country’s GDP, account for almost half of the country’s exports, with e-commerce seen as critical for enabling Indian MSMEs to tap the global market, expand their customer base and sell Made-in-India products globally.

The size of the global e-commerce market reached a value of $13 trillion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $55.6 trillion by 2027, rising at a CAGR of 27.4% during 2022-2027, according to the IMARC Group. As per data available with IBEF, India’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $111 billion by 2024, $200 billion by 2026, and $350 billion by 2030.

As India ramps up its efforts to boost India’s economic self-reliance, e-commerce will enable businesses, including Indian MSMEs, to sell directly to customers across the world and achieve scale, without the need for physical presence in these markets. E-commerce exports is, therefore, expected to be a strong enabler in increasing the overall share of MSME’s contribution to exports.

Common documents involved in e-commerce exports are:
Commercial Invoice
Transport document like Airway Bill/Courier Bill of Export/Postal Bill of Export
Regulatory documents like Shipping Bills issued by Customs/Courier Shipping Bill/Postal Shipping Bill.

Challenges faced by exporters in regularising their e-commerce shipments.

There are many operational challenges that e-commerce exporters face while regularising their bills. They include:
High shipping cost – transport & custom clearance
High cost for collection of sales realisation- charges of payment gateways/aggregators
Bulky paperwork especially where the volume of business is high
Requirement of physical submission of documents at AD Banks for regularisation
High bill regularisation charges.

Regulatory guidelines (exports):
Realisation of export proceeds within 9 months from the date of shipment
Non-submission / timely regularisation of Export Bills may lead to regulatory action such as caution listing by RBI

Thus, in order to avoid any actions from the regulatory bodies, it is important to get the Export Bills regularised on time with the concerned AD Bank of the exporter.

Digital solutions for Export Bill regularisation for e-commerce exporters:
In order to make the Export Bill regularisation process hassle-free with a digitised solution, ICICI Bank’s Export Bill Regularisation solution allows exporters to lodge, realise, and regularise their Export Bills through a simple online request to the Bank.

It is a paperless, time saving, and easy-to-use process as the entire regularisation process can be done online. ICICI Bank also allows facilities like:

A complete real-time dashboard for all pending compliances including Shipping Bills that are pending for regularisation
Online/Bulk Export Bill Regularisation through the Bank’s digital platform – Trade Online, which reduces the Turn Around Time (TAT)
Courier & Postal Shipping Bill regularisation and direct integration with logistics providers for ease of validating shipments
Free & automated issuance of Foreign Inward Remittance Statement (FIRS)
Flat regularisation charges.

ICICI Bank allows its customers to regularise their Export Bills through three ways:
Through Trade Online: Shipping Bills available in EDPMS can be regularised through ICICI Bank’s comprehensive online system
Through registered e-mail ID: Customers can e-mail the documents through their registered e-mail ID
Submission at the branch: Customers can also choose to submit the documents at trade enabled branches.

To help ease the challenges in e-commerce exports, including those related to regularisation of multiple bills, banks like ICICI Bank provide flexible options for its exporters to enable faster facilitation of Export Bills regularisation through a paperless transaction that is both quick and convenient.

Indeed, removing challenges associated with e-commerce exports with the help of technology solutions is of utmost importance at a time when export opportunities are growing, buoyed by India’s push for economic self-reliance through initiatives like Make in India.

India’s September palm oil imports jump to 1-yr high of 1.2 million T-dealers

Source: Economic Times, 04 October 2022

India’s imports of palm oil jumped in September to their highest in a year, boosted by strong demand for the tropical oil ahead of the festival season and a steep discount to rival oils, six dealers told Reuters on Tuesday.

Greater buying could help top producer Indonesia cut swelling inventories and support benchmark Malaysian palm oil prices, which have nearly halved from this year’s record highs.

The September imports jumped 21% from a month ago to 1.2 million tonnes, the highest since September last year, the average estimate from six dealers with trading firms showed.
“Palm oil was much cheaper than other edible oils,” said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at GGN Research. “It was natural for refiners to increase buying.”

Palm oil is nearly $300 cheaper than rival soyoil for September shipments as Indonesia was trying to reduce its stockpile, dealers said.

Even in October, India’s palm oil imports will stay robust, at about a million tonnes, as its steep discount persists and festivals fuel demand strong, a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm said.

Crude palm oil is being offered at $855 a tonne, including cost, insurance and freight (CIF) in India for October shipments, versus $1,207 for crude soyoil, the dealers said.

The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, a trade body based in Mumbai, is likely to publish its September import data in the middle of October.

Soyoil imports in September rose 10% from a month ago to 270,000 tonnes, while those of sunflower oil jumped 22% to 165,000 tonnes, the dealers said.

Sunflower oil imports were rising as its premium over rival soyoil has narrowed after supplies from top exporter Ukraine resumed since August through a U.N.-brokered corridor, said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of leading broker Sunvin Group.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

Exporters urge FM to extend GST exemption on export freight

Source: Financial Express, 03 October 2022

An organisation of exporters wrote to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, urging her to extend the Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption on export freight that lapsed on September 30.The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) expressed concern that if the exemption is not extended, it will add to their liquidity challenges amid rising interest rates.

Since its introduction in 2018, the government had extended the exemption twice till September this year. “Overseas freight rates had increased by 300–350 per cent from pre–Covid levels. Now, there has been a slight decline in such rates, but these are still 200–250 per cent higher than that of the 2019 levels,” FIEO President A Sakthivel said.

If the exemption is not renewed, exporters will be required to pay GST at 18 per cent on export freight, which will increase the logistical costs for Indian goods in the international market, he said.”Due to the recent increase in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India, the GST payments on such high freight cost will have a significant negative impact on exporters’ liquidity,” Sakthivel said.Global trade is “entering a very challenging era as countries are facing high inflation”, with an “impending recession impacting the demand”, the FIEO president said.

“This is evident from India’s slowing export growth rate between April and August. Indian exporters are trying their level best despite the rupee being one of the most resilient currencies in the world, thus not providing less competitiveness to our exports as compared to our competitors as most currencies have depreciated at a much steeper pace,” Sakthivel said in his letter sent to the minister via e-mail on October 2.He pointed out that the GST on export freight is “revenue neutral” as exporters will pay the same, and subsequently get a refund but with a lag of 2-3 months, blocking their capital.

“This may augment liquidity of the government but at the cost of exporters. Since the cost of credit for exporters is much high, an exemption will help the sector maintain better liquidity, which is the need of the hour,” he said.Sakthivel urged Sitharaman to take an early decision for the exporting community, which is passing through a difficult phase. FIEO had recently appealed to the RBI to introduce an export refinance scheme to insulate export credit from the hike in interest rates.

Trade deficit hits $26 billion on rising imports; June exports up 23.52% to $40.13 billion

Source: Financial Express, 15 July 2022

Merchandise exports rose 23.5% in June from a year before even on an unfavourable base but a steep 57.6% jump in imports on the back of elevated global commodity prices drove up trade deficit to a new monthly record of $26.2 billion.

With this, trade deficit in the June quarter jumped to a record $70.8 billion, way above that of $31.4 billion in the same quarter last fiscal, according to the provisional data released by the commerce ministry on Thursday.

This will likely inflate the country’s current account deficit for the first quarter of FY23 to more than 3% of GDP, compared with 1.5% in the previous quarter, according to some analysts.

Given the fears of recession in top markets (US and the EU), which have contributed immensely to India’s stellar export performance in FY22, external demand for Indian merchandise may falter in the coming months. The global supply chains, despite some improvement in recent weeks, still remain tangled.

Of course, with softening commodity prices, some pressure on the CAD front is expected to ease in the second half of this fiscal. Moreover, the dramatic rise in imports for a second straight month (even without oil and gems & jewellery, imports jumped as much as 38.3% in June) signals improving domestic demand that had remained subdued for months in the wake of the Covid outbreak.

Exports increased to $40.1 billion in June, a record for the third month of any fiscal, and the growth is slightly higher than May’s 20.6%. Core exports grew 8.7% in June, against 8.6% in the previous month but well below 19.9% in April.

But imports spiked to $66.3 billion from $42.1 billion a year before, driven by a 99% jump in purchases of oil and petroleum products, 261% in coal and 183% in gold.

A spurt in prices inflated petroleum and coal import bill substantially, while massive gold imports were partly driven by jewellers’ bid to build inventory to cater for some pent-up demand. This is partly because many marriages were last year postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic, as pointed out in the finance ministry’s economic report for June. Fitch Ratings has already warned of a doubling of India’s CAD in FY23 to about 3.1% of GDP. Of course, senior government officials have assuaged concerns about financing the CAD.

Among high-value segments, the rise in exports in June was led by petroleum products (119%), followed by electronics (61%) and garments (50%).

Aditi Nayar, chief economist at Icra, said while the elevated trade deficit for June poses some upside risks to the CAD for Q1FY23, “the correction in commodity prices has softened the outlook for the ongoing quarter, even though export growth may undergo a slowdown amidst a weaker outlook for the global economy. She projected a modest downsides to our FY23 CAD forecast of $105 billion or 3% of GDP.”

A Sakthivel, president of the apex exporters’ body FIEO, said the spike in imports is a matter of concern. However, the decent export growth “indicates the strength of the export sector amidst challenging ongoing geo-political and rising global uncertainties”.

India’s exports expand 24% in May, trade deficit widens sharply

Source: Hindustantimes, 16 June 2022

India’s total exports, including goods and services, in May grew 24% over a year ago to $62.21 billion, but trade deficit also rose sharply to $15.44 billion in the month compared to a $1.38 billion trade surplus in the same month last year on the back of a 59% spike in imports to $77.65 billion, according to official data.

According to experts, the high trade deficit in May was on account of higher merchandise imports in terms of value due to global supply chain disruptions, inflation and domestic manufacturers building inventories to secure themselves from future supply shocks.

Provisional data released by the commerce ministry on Wednesday showed unprecedented growth in imports of key inputs such as energy and precious metals, necessary for domestic manufacturing and exports. Gold import in May saw 789% year-on-year growth to $6 billion, coal (173% to $5.42 billion), petroleum (103% to $19.2 billion), and silver (2,800% to $446 million).

Higher services exports at $45.87 billion in May compared to $28.48 billion imports helped bring down the overall trade deficit, which also signified rapid recovery in services segment that was badly hit by Covid-19 pandemic.

May saw merchandise exports of $38.94 billion (20.55% y-o-y growth) and imports of $63.22 billion (62.83% y-o-y jump), according to the data. The highest growth in exports in the month was for petroleum products ( $8.55 billion, a 60.87% jump over $5.31 billion in the same period last year) because many domestic refiners are exporting automobile fuels overseas for better price realisation. There was also growth in electronic goods, leather products, coffee, cereal preparations, and oil meals.

India’s overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in April-May are estimated to be $124.59 billion, a growth of 25.90% over the same period last year, the commerce ministry said in a statement. The data is provisional because services trade figures are extrapolations .

“The data for May 2022 is an estimation, which will be revised based on RBI’s subsequent release,” the ministry said in a statement.

The merchandise exports in the first two months (April-May) of 2022-23 were $78.72 billion as compared to $63.05 billion during the same period last year , a 24.86% growth. The estimated value of services export for April-May 2022 was $45.87 billion, g a growth of 27.71% vis-a-vis $35.92 billion in April-May 2021, it added.

Total imports (merchandise and services combined) in May were estimated to be $77.65 billion, a growth of 59.19% over the same period last year. Overall imports in the first two months of current financial year (April-May) were estimated at $151.89 billion, a growth of 45.44% over the same period last year, the ministry said in its statement.

Saon Ray, professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a think-tank, said: “The trade deficit is on account of merchandise trade and not services… However, we must unpack what we are importing and exporting to shed some light on the trade deficit. The data shows an improvement is exports of services, which is a good sign since services trade was badly hit in the aftermath of the pandemic.”

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president A Sakthivel said the “highest-ever exports” in May shows “the continuous resilience of the exports sector” amidst rising global uncertainties.

India’s merchandise exports crossed $421.8 billion for the first time ever in 2021-22 and services exports also surged an all-time high at $254.4 billion in the fiscal year.

“Labour-intensive sectors also contributed to the exports basket, which itself is a good sign, further helping job creation in the country,” Sakthivel added, expressing confidence that the benefits of recently signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with Australia and the UAE, and the productivity-linked incentive (PLI) scheme will further help India’s exports.

He said rising imports of gold may lead to impressive gems and jewellery exports in the next 1-2 months.

India’s sugar exports to grow up to 10 mln tonnes in SS22 on lower output in Brazil: Report

Source: Economic Times, 30 May 2022

The country’s sugar exports are expected to increase to around 9-10 million tonnes in sugar season 2022, beginning October, following lower production in Brazil due to adverse weather conditions, according to a report. Ind-Ra expects the total exports for SS22 (Sugar Season 2022) to rise to 9-10 million tonnes, surpassing the previous high of 7.2 million tonnes shipped in SS21, as the lower production in Brazil (which is down 40 percent year-on-year in first 1.5 months ended mid-May 2022) due to adverse weather conditions and delayed harvesting.

Brazil is the largest exporter of sugar, constituting 35-45 percent of the global trade, and a fall in its exports in the current season could result in India’s share rising to around 15 percent, the Ind-Ra report stated.

However, Ind-Ra believed exports were anyway unlikely to exceed 10 million tonnes, given the rebound in production in Thailand after two consecutive seasons of decline.

As a result, the restriction is unlikely to materially affect the sector, although any issues in the mill-wise approval process could act as a dampener, it added.

Meanwhile, with two successive seasons of production deficit, international sugar prices hit a five-year high of over 20 cents per pound in April 2022, averaging around 19 cents per pound till now in SS22.

While India’s export restriction has not affected prices meaningfully, prices are likely to remain robust with a lower cane output and sugar mix in Brazil, which bodes well for Indian exports, Ind-Ra said.

It said that despite producing a high-quality sugar, the competitiveness of Indian exports is affected by the country’s high cane costs relative to other major producers, including Brazil, Thailand and Australia, rendering exports unviable without subsidy until about a year back.

After hitting a historical high of 14.6 million tonnes at the end of SS19, sugar stocks have been moderating, it added.

Despite an increase in the production, higher exports and diversion towards ethanol are likely to reduce the sugar stock further to around 7 million tonnes at end-SS22, although still higher than the normative carry forward requirement of around 5.5 million tonnes.

India’s gross sugar production (before ethanol diversion) increased to 38.3 million tonnes in SS22 (up to mid-May), up 5.8 million tonnes mainly due to an increase in the production in Maharashtra and Karnataka, it said.

However, with a likely increase in sugar diversion towards ethanol to 3.4 million tonnes (SS21: 2 million tonnes), the net sugar production is likely to come in at 35.5 million tonnes while consumption could continue to grow at around 2 percent, increasing to 27.2 million tonnes in SS22.

Therefore, while consumption is likely to grow at a modest rate of 1-2 percent, the increase in cane diversion towards ethanol growth would result in an exportable surplus of 6-8 million tonnes in SS23 (depending on cane output), hence maintaining a healthy domestic balance, it added.

Negotiations going on for signing of FTAs with the UK, EU and Canada: MoS Anupriya Patel

Source: Financial Express, 10 May 2022

India was expected to conclude free trade agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union before this year-end, Union Minister Anupriya Patel said here on Tuesday.

The Minister of State in Commerce and Industry said the country’s trade was “passing through a watershed moment” as it clocked USD 675 billion on exports while merchandise exports accounted for USD 419 billion last year.

“We (The Ministry) are also in process of negotiations on the signing of free trade agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada, and Russia and they may be concluded before the end of the year,” she said.

Patel was speaking at the Stakeholder’s Outreach Programme organised by Directorate General of Foreign Trade on the occasion of India signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Arab Emirates and the Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) with Australia.

Noting that exports are vital for the growth of a country, she said India concluded the agreement with Australia in just 88 days and it was one of the fastest-ever agreement signed. “It is a very comprehensive agreement,” she said.

She pointed out that the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was already “operationalised” and there was huge scope in terms of employment generation.

“Besides employment generation, these agreements will also lead to increase in remittances following the increase in the Indian diaspora (in the two countries),” she said.