Indian exporters fear of disruption over increasing COVID cases in China

The rising COVID infections in China and other countries has once again strike the fear of supply chain disruptions in the hearts of the Indian exporters.

The exporters are keeping their fingers crossed hoping the virus is contained.

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.

Electronic items, organic and inorganic chemicals, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, fertilisers, crude and manufactured and dyeing/tanning/colouring materials, were among some of the major goods imported from China.

Hand Tools Association President Subhash Chander Ralhan also expressed a similar view, saying that a further increase in the covid cases 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.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid a spurt in Covid cases cautioned against complacency and directed officials to strengthen the ongoing surveillance measures, especially at international airports.

As per reports, Omicron subvariant BF.7 is 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.

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