Fall in shipments to ASEAN region hit engg exports

India’s drop in the engineering exports in February by 3.05 per cent, the first time in seven months, has resulted largely from a huge decline in the shipments to the key ASEAN markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand of the trading bloc with which India has entered into a Free Trade Agreement.

The decline in the engineering exports to these countries ranges from a huge 79 per cent in February, 2014 year-on-year to 36 per cent.

The shipments went steeply down by 79.11 per cent to Singapore, the major member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand by 61 per cent, Malaysia by 70 per cent and Indonesia by 36 per cent, an analysis of data by Engineering Export Council said.

However, the engineering exports to the USA took a turn for better and turned around from negative to positive growing by eight per cent, tough the April-February cumulative data for the US still remains negative to the extent of about five per cent.

While the exports to the ASEAN countries dropped sharply, the data showed a sizeable improvement in shipments of key engineering products to South Korea and Japan, the two other countries with which India has entered into a free trade pact.

The despatches to South Korea in February, 2014 went up by over 60 per cent while to Japan they were up 16 per cent.

Also, several major sectors have shown negative growth in February, 2014 in comparison to the same month of 2013. Segments with low engineering exports during February, 2014 include Iron and Steel that accounts for about 14 to 15 per cent of India’s total engineering exports.

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