India Box Trade Grew 6% in Q4 2018: Maersk
India’s containerised trade with the world has grown steadily, recording an overall import-export trade growth of 6% according to the Q4 2018 trade report released by Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company.
Increasing demand for refrigerated cargo from India coupled with improved trade relations with China with introduction of favourable trade policies, has driven exports to grow a healthy 3% in Q4.
The demand for India-made goods such as vehicles, cereals and rice; supplemented by refrigerated cargo such as fish, seafood, vegetables and pharmaceuticals saw maximum growth in exports. While imports have maintained a stable growth of 9%, largely driven by substantial inflow of metals and paper. Overall, the containerized trade has witnessed stable growth withstanding the fluctuations of global trade tensions.
Commenting on the overall growth in containerised trade, Steve Felder, Managing Director – Maersk South Asia said, “We witnessed a stable trade environment in the last quarter of 2018, due to base effects, weakening demand of goods in China, overall contraction in manufacturing around the world and the global trade tensions between major economies."
"But the stable growth in trade indicates that the economy has been able to sail through some of these challenges, including the impact of regulatory reforms such as demonetisation and implementation of GST. We are witnessing an array of developments in the industry with regard to digitisation, consolidation and infrastructure upgrades which will support in propelling India as one of the top trading destinations in the world,” he added.
West region saw the highest growth of imports of dry commodities with strong growth in iron and steel scrap and electrical motors, while exports were largely driven by vehicle exports to Mediterranean countries like Egypt and Turkey.
On the contrary, North region saw the highest growth of exports of dry commodities with plastic and rubber being the highest exported commodity. Chemicals saw a strong 6% growth in exports from the North India region. The highest commodity to see unprecedented growth is seafood, with fish being the highest exported commodity to China followed by a double digit growth in exports to USA.
Dry cargo like plastic, rubber, metal, and paper were among the most imported items in India in Q4. Iron and steel scrap were mostly imported from countries like UK, Belgium and The Netherlands to the North and West of India. Furthermore, India also witnessed a 74% rise in its pharmaceutical exports to the USA.