External Trade
Exports performance of India over the last two years has been affected by continued sluggishness in global trade. An overvalued exchange rate for a prolonged period had also not helped matters. The deceleration in world trade in 2012 is attributed to slow growth in both advanced and emerging market and developing economies. Keeping in view the reduced global demand in general and advanced economies in particular, the Govt. of India announced several measures since June 2012 to promote India’s exports. The depreciation in the exchange rate, both in nominal and real terms, appears to have helped improve India’s exports competitiveness in recent months.
Major share of trade operations in Kerala is being conducted through Cochin Port. Pepper, cashew, coir and coir products, tea, cardamom, ginger, spices and spices oil and marine products are the main items of trade. During 2012-13, the total traffic handled by Cochin Port declined by 1.2 per cent and reached 198.5 lakh MT. It was 200.9 lakh MT during 2011-12. Import during this period increased to 160.1 lakh MT from the previous year level of 157.8 lakh MT. Exports meanwhile declined to 38.3 lakh MT from 43.1 lakh MT of 2011-12. The fall in exports was 11 percent in quantitative terms. But due to higher price per unit there was an increase of 7 per cent in the value of exports.

All commodities except sea foods and coir products exported through Cochin Port showed a decreasing trend during 2012-13. Export of tea declined further by 15.3 per cent in 2012-13 than the slight 0.2 per cent decline of 2011-12. Export of Cashew Kernels decreased by 5.8 per cent, coffee by 30.1 per cent and miscellaneous items by 9.4 per cent. The exports of spices nosedived by 93.4 per cent during 2012-13. However, coir products export increased by 15 percent and sea food by a thin rate of 1.9 per cent.

Imports through Cochin port continued to increase during 2012-13 also. It reached at the level of 160. 1 lakh MT during 2012-13 from 157.80 lakh MT of 2011-12, marking a slight increase of 1.5 per cent. Fertilizers and raw materials, iron and steel and machinery, newsprint, raw cashew nut, P.O.L etc. are the main items of import. However, there was no food grains import during 2012-13 through Cochin port. Import of miscellaneous items including P.O.L alone has increased during 2012-13; at the rate of 2.5 per cent, resulting in the rise of total imports. Import of fertilizers and raw materials decreased by 18 per cent and that of iron, steel and machinery by 70.5 per cent, newsprint by 24 percent and raw cashewnut by 1.2 per cent.

Coastal as well as foreign exports from Cochin port declined during 2012-13 by 5.5 per cent and 14.0 per cent respectively. Coastal export decreased from 14.9 lakh MT of 2011-12 to 14.1 lakh MT in 2012-13, while foreign exports decreased from 28.25 lakh MT in 2011-12 to 24.29 lakh MT in 2012-13. On the other hand both coastal and foreign import increased marginally by 0.73 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively during 2012-13

For more information: spb.kerala.gov.in
Source: Economic Review 2013