Chinese whispers lead drag on India’s engineering exports

Image for representation.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

A sharp decline in Chinese imports of Indian engineering goods, along with marked dips in orders from 10 of the top 25 markets for the sector, is hurting the industry that accounts for a quarter of India’s total goods exports.

While engineering goods exports have dipped in seven of the first 11 months of 2022-23 and are down 4.24% year-on-year, exports to China have plummeted 54% so far, with the monthly decline decelerating to 33.3% this February.

Other major markets to have clocked a downturn between April 2022 and February 2023 include Korea (-30.6%), Vietnam (-28.6%), Turkey (-21.9%), Thailand (-12.5%), UAE (-10.4%) and Japan (-5.9%), as per data shared by India’s engineering exports council EEPC on Wednesday.

A dozen out of 34 engineering panels [categories of items] have recorded negative growth in exports so far in 2022-23, compared to the same period last year. “Major decline was witnessed in iron and steel segment, non-ferrous segment, two- and three-wheelers, railway transport, bicycle parts and project goods,” an EEPC analysis noted.

On the positive side, some large countries have scaled up their orders from India, albeit from a relatively lower base. Engineering exports to Saudi Arabia have risen 56.7%, followed by exports to Singapore (37.8%), Netherlands (36.4%), Canada (27.6%) and France (22.3%).

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