India's exports to EU rise 24 per cent in April-Dec, defying slowdown

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Contrary to perceptions of a major slowdown, India’s merchandise exports to the European Union (EU) are rising at a robust rate.

Latest provisional data show that shipments during April-December 2011 to that region rose 24 per cent to $38.5 billion from around $31 billion during the corresponding previous period, Business Line reports.

The official data on region-wise exports for April-June 2011 show that shipments to the EU were worth $13.4 billion.

The growth rate of exports to the EU during the first three quarters this fiscal is almost at par with that of India’s overall exports during the same period — which is a 25.84 per cent increase to $217.7 billion. There was a general feeling that since the EU is a traditional destination accounting for nearly a fifth of India’s total exports, a fall in exports to that region was a key factor impacting India’s cumulative export performance.

“Such perceptions are highly exaggerated. The latest trends show that the spending pattern of Europeans on basic items has not gone down and they are still managing to keep up their high standard of living,” a senior official said.

Shipments to the UK during the first three quarters of this fiscal had risen a healthy 27 per cent to $6.2 billion, while that to Germany went up by 25 per cent to $5.6 billion. The the only main country to which exports during the period fell was to France, with shipments shrinking 6.7 per cent to $3.2 billion.

However, even exports to Portugal, Ireland and Spain — impacted most by the Euro Zone crisis showed a positive growth and as did shipments to the financially troubled Italy.

Recently, the Commerce Secretary, Dr Rahul Khullar, had said that the global economic uncertainties, especially the Euro Zone crisis, as well as the lack of confidence among consumers and investors will continue to impact India’s exports even in 2012-13.

Though disaggregated sectoral details of exports to EU during April-December 2011 were not immediately available, electronics shipments to the EU had contracted by 18 per cent in October.

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