Exports grow 16% in first week of January

Merchandise exports grew 16.2%, year on year, in the first week of January, while imports rose 1.1%, a senior commerce ministry official said on Monday.

However, hit by the pandemic, exports have already witnessed a roller-coaster ride this fiscal. Rising 6% in September, the first expansion since February, outbound shipments faltered by 5.1% in October and 8.7% in November before the contraction narrowed again, to 0.8%, in December. Also, weekly growth can quickly reverse as well. Nevertheless, it’s an encouraging sign.

Engineering goods exports rose as much as 51.8%, accounting for over 75% of the incremental exports between January 1 and 7. Petroleum exports rose by 17.3%. However, exports from some of the labour-intensive sectors continued to bleed. For instance, exports of garments dropped by 26% and yarn by 22% in the first week of January. Chemicals (both organic and inorganic) exports also dropped, by 5.5%.