India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said merchandise exports from India had reached $417.8 billion in the just-ended 2021-22 (April-March) financial year and are likely to exceed $418 billion, well above the target set by the government.
India has achieved the highest monthly value of merchandise export in March 2022 amounting to $40.38 billion, an increase of 14.53% over $35.26 billion in March last year and an increase of 87.89% over $21.49 billion in March 2020, the minister told a press conference.
According to a government statement, exports have witnessed significant growth in non-petroleum goods also in April 2021-March 2022, hitting $352.76 billion, an increase of 32.62% over $266.00 billion in April 2020-March 2021 and an increase of 29.66% over $272.07 billion in April 2019-March 2020.
Goyal said impressive growth has been seen in the agriculture sector and especially during the pandemic India emerged as a major global supplier of food and essential agriculture products. Agriculture exports buoyancy is driven by commodities such as rice (both basmati and non-basmati), marine products, wheat, spices, and sugar, among others, recording the highest ever agricultural products export in 2021-22, the government statement said.
Wheat exports to continue
Higher agricultural exports signify the ability of Indian farmers to meet the requirement of a 1.35 billion population and yet produce a surplus to export to the rest of the world, Goyal said, adding that integration into the global market will allow India’s farmers to be more competitive, quality conscious and at the same time realize better prices for their produce.
“When we set a target of $50 billion exports of agriculture produce, few imagined this would be possible. But today I want to congratulate our farmers who have grown more produce despite Covid-19. The exports growth has helped farmers and labour-intensive sectors and MSMEs,” Goyal said.
“We will continue to export wheat in a big way to meet needs in countries who are not getting supplies from conflict areas. We are likely to exceed our wheat exports by over 10 million tonnes in 2022-23. Our farmers are focused on increasing production,” the minister added.
Global wheat supplies have been affected by the war in Ukraine. Both Ukraine and Russia are large wheat exporters, but damage to crops and ports due to the fighting is expected to impact their ability to ship wheat. For India, that is an opportunity.