The strengthening India-US trade relationship resulted in a 7.65 per cent increase in bilateral trade in FY 2022-23.

India has recorded a substantial increase in inbound containers at its ports from January–May 2023 with the Container Availability index (CAx) persistently surpassing 0.75 since the beginning of the year. This rise is attributed to a decline in outbound container demand. The high CAx values imply an excess of containers, which reflects a surge in imports leading to container overcapacity.

In April 2023, the first month of the fiscal 2023-24, India witnessed a considerable 13 per cent drop in merchandise exports, amounting to $35 billion, compared to the previous year. This is the steepest monthly fall in the past three years, indicating a significant downturn in export performance, according to data from Container xChange, an online container logistics platform.

Nevertheless, the Indian government is encouraging pro-export industry groups to enhance shipments and increase annual trade volumes. India’s average container price for 40 HC containers and 20 DC containers has nearly halved compared to last year, while pickup charges on the India-US trade route have significantly risen. This suggests an increasing demand for containers from India.

The bolstering trade relations between India and the US have led to the latter emerging as India’s top trading partner in the fiscal 2022-23. Bilateral

trade surged by 7.65 per cent to $128.55 billion, with a moderate rise in exports to the US and a notable surge in imports.

Lastly, according to the ministry of ports, shipping, and waterways of India, the country’s major ports handled a record 795 million metric tonnes of cargo in the fiscal 2022-23, marking a 10 per cent increase from the previous year.

“The Indian economy has been persistently prioritising the promotion of exports, driving economic momentum. However, container traders, shippers, and carriers in India are experiencing a slowdown in containerised exports. There is a noticeable decline in consumer demand from the US, European Union, and UK markets. This trend has had an impact on the volume of orders received by exporters,” said Supal Shah, CEO, ARCON Containers.

“Despite the export slowdown in India, there is optimism that export growth will rebound starting in July this year. The third quarter of the calendar year is expected to bring improvements as fresh orders and bookings increase in preparation for the upcoming festival and New Year season. Industry stakeholders are hopeful that this positive trend will drive a resurgence in containerised exports and contribute to the overall growth of the Indian economy,” said Christian Roeloffs, CEO and co-founder.

Source : sagarsandesh