Indian exporters are keeping their fingers crossed on account of rising Covid infections in China and other countries as it could again disrupt supply chains and affect demand for goods.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said that if the cases continue to increase in the coming days, it may have implications on imports. “We are keeping our fingers crossed,” he said.
Sahai said that if Chinese industries start shutting down due to rise in Covid cases, it would impact imports of key components for sectors such as pharmaceuticals, electronics and automobiles.“If the situation persists, then there would be issues,” he added.
According to the commerce ministry data, India’s imports from China during April-October this fiscal stood at USD 60.27 billion, while exports aggregated at USD 8.77 billion.
Major goods imported from China included electronic items, organic and inorganic chemicals, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, fertilisers, crude and manufactured and dyeing/tanning/colouring materials.
Hand Tools Association President Subhash Chander Ralhan too said that if Covid cases increase further, it would pose problems for industry here.
“We import key raw materials for sectors like chemicals and engineering from China,” Ralhan said. He suggested that the government should consider stopping flights from China to contain the spread of the Covid cases.
Amid a spurt in Covid cases in some parts of the world, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi cautioned against complacency and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports.
Omicron subvariant BF.7 is apparently the strain driving China’s current surge of Covid cases.
Sharing similar views, leading exporter of Mumbai and Founder Chairman of Technocraft Industries India Sharad Kumar Saraf said that the exporting community is concerned due to rising infections in China.
“Rising cases are cause of concern for us. Our pharma industry is dependent on China. In my factory there, we are witnessing 40 per cent absenteeism,” Saraf said.