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The import (export) of the war for India.

Date: 06-04-2022
Subject: The import (export) of the war for India
The government is concerned about the immediate effect on Indian exports to warring Russia and Ukraine as shipping rates and energy prices spike further. Freight rates to Indian ports have shot up in the past year over container shortages and pandemic disruptions. They resumed their march within a week of the Russian invasion. Insurance premiums on cargo to the region are trending up as well. At immediate risk is India's almost $10 billion bilateral trade with Russia and a quarter of that with Ukraine. Spread over other countries affected by shipping disruptions in the region, as much as $3 billion in monthly cargoes to and from India could be affected.

Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that she is worried about large imports such as fertilisers from the region, as well. The government had budgeted for a tapering of the fertiliser subsidy in the next financial year. But disturbances in supply from Russia, a major exporter, are likely to upset that assumption. The warring countrie countries supply India almost its entire sunflower oil imports and the Indian government is asking importers to seek supplies elsewhere as prices have begun to harden in south India. On its part, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to provide details of their exposure to Russia and Ukraine after the US and the EU denied access to a segment of Russian banks to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) payment system.

Indian banks are not expecte Indian banks are not expected to have a big exposure, given the size of bilateral trade, and the country has the option of reviving the rupee-rouble mechanism to ease trade disruption. But companies with plans to borrow abroad may have to put them off for a while till bond markets become less turbulent. In the last two months, India Inc has raised a quarter of what it did last year through dollar bonds. The crisis in eastern Europe may also spawn export opportunities for Indian industry, particularly metals, if Russia and Ukraine were to vacate this market alongside energy and food.

Source :Economic Times

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