Exports from the country have exceeded the target of $160 billion set for the financial year 2007-08, according to the final figures released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics.
According to DGCI&S, the cumulative value of exports for the period April-March 2008 reached Rs655,864 crore as against Rs571,779 crore, registering a growth of 14.71 per cent. In dollar terms, exports reached a level of $162.9 billion during 2007-08, registering a growth of 29.02 per cent over the same period last year.
The major drivers of exports during the period were engineering goods (27.34 per cent), petroleum products (51.97 per cent), gems and jewellery (23.27 per cent), agriculture and allied products (55.51 per cent) and ores and minerals (30.34 [per cent).
Exports of textiles, handicrafts and sports goods, which were badly hit during 2006-07 due to appreciation of rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar since September 2006, showed improvement in their performance during the year, a commerce ministry release said.
Merchandise exports grew despite the rupee appreciating by around 8 per cent against the dollar during the financial year. But the rapid rise of the rupee against the dollar in 2007-08 had eroded profit margins of exporters.
Export incentives announced by the government, which included interest rate subvention on export credit, has helped prop up exports to some extent.
Economists, however, has warned that the export target of $200 billion for the current financial year would be difficult to meet because of lower demand from key export markets like the United States and the European Union which are reeling under the financial crisis.