Covid-19 caused exporters to bleed with more than 15-20% of orders being cancelled and a substantial amount of funds being locked up due to the inability of major buyers in the US, Europe and West Asia to pay duties, causing them to pursue government bailouts.
The only exception to this seemed to be food and farm products is strong demand for important goods. However, the availability of containers and packaging materials and machinery, along with the certification needed for items such as spices to be shipped to Europe, poses challenges.
According to Engineering Export Promotion Council president Ravi Sehga, if the lockdown doesn’t end soon, exporters could be staring at losing around 80 per cent of their orders. In a study, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council has warned of an additional $2.7-billion impact in 2019-20 as shipments in March are projected to fall by 12 per cent compared to the average decline of 5.5 per cent seen during the previous months of the last year.
AEPC has said that nearly Rs 15,000 crore (around $2 billion) worth of pipeline orders have been cancelled, while Rs 10,000 crore payments are being kept back.