Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Apr 07, 2005
Industry & Economy
Exports & Imports
US households swell Indian exporters' kitty
Chennai , April 6
WHATEVER be the general position of India's exports to the US, there are some segments, which perform better than others.
Of the $15.5 billion worth of Indian goods imported into the US last year, goods valued over $10.5 billion were `tailored' to the needs of US householders.
Knick-knacks accounted for the lion's share at $5.3 billion, followed by textiles and apparel, which earned us $4.3 billion worth of foreign exchange (against China's take of $18.2 billion in 2004).
In textiles and apparels, but for a dip in 2001, there seems to be a rising trend; from about $3.4 billion in 2000 up to the 2004 level.
The term `apparel' in this report covers a wide range of items, such asfootwear, hides, rugs and other floor coverings.
The Chinese effort is more focused, and systematically covers the needs of men, women and children, and home furnishings.
Their sales drive has been particularly energetic in anticipation of the lifting of the quota for the import of textiles and clothing into the US and the EU.
Thanks to the under-valuation of the remnibi, they also have a sizeable cost advantage over most others, including India.
The knick-knacks are accounted for by gems and diamonds (uncut or unset) at $2.9 billion, and jewellery, watches and rings at $1.5 billion.
Like the latter category, the former too maintained a generally upward trend from 2000 to 2004, though not so consistently after taking a dip in 2001. The remaining $1 billion is in the form of fish and shellfish ($407 million), nuts ($260 million), food oils and oilseeds ($98 million), tea, spices and preparations ($83 million), soft beverages, processed coffee ($49 million), vegetables and preparations ($65 million) and other sundry items. In this day and age, we still have to turn to other countries' statistics to find out how our own products are faring.
The Economic Survey provides figures on the direction of trade and it separately presents data on the commodity composition of exports and imports.
However, the data presented in an electronic format should give access to the commodity composition of exports and imports with each of our trading partners.
Links to global trade documents could also enable producers and traders to ascertain the quantum of outflows and inflows to and from the rest of the world.
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