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Exporters wary of Russia-Ukraine crisis

India’s bilateral trade with Russia at $9.4bn and $2.3bn with Ukraine; Every 10% rise in crude price will add $15bn to CAD, 0.4% to GDP, 0.4% to consumer price index, 0.9% to WPI

Exporters wary of Russia-Ukraine crisis

Exporters wary of Russia-Ukraine crisis 

New Delhi: The Russia-Ukraine military conflict will have an implication on India's trade as it would affect movement of consignments, payments and oil prices, according to exporters. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said they have asked exporters to hold their consignments to the region or goods that take the Black Sea route. To Russia, Ukraine and other eastern European countries, goods move from the Suez Canal and the Black Sea, FIEO Director-General Ajay Sahai said. He added that the quantity of impact on trade will depend on the duration of the war.

"This is a major setback to trade as it was recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Exporters are cautious in dealing with their trade in that region. The war will affect both movement of goods, payments and oil prices," Sahai said.

A Mumbai-based exporter Sharad Kumar Saraf said the current crisis will affect the country's exports as the West is imposing sanctions on Russia. The situation in Ukraine deteriorated after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine, triggering serious concerns over the possibility of a full-scale military confrontation between the two countries. Following Putin's announcement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said an "invasion" could be the beginning of a "big war" in Europe.

Bilateral trade between India and Russia stood at $9.4 billion so far this fiscal, against $8.1 billion in 2020-21. India's main imports from Russia include fuels, mineral oils, pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical machinery and equipment and fertilisers. While major export items from India to Russia include pharmaceutical products, electrical machinery and equipment, organic chemicals and vehicles. India's bilateral trade with Ukraine stood at $2.3 billion so far this fiscal, as against $2.5 billion in the last fiscal. Main items of Indian import from Ukraine are agriculture products, metallurgical products, plastics and polymers, etc., while pharmaceuticals, machinery, chemicals and food products, etc., are the major Indian exports to Ukraine.

FIEO Vice-President Khalid Khan said that if the military operations continue for long time, it will have serious implications for exports to and imports from that region. "Oil and gas prices will zoom, there could be payment delays for traders," he said. Stock markets were awash in red and the Indian currency slumped against the dollar on Thursday amid Russia's attack on Ukraine pushing investors to seek refuge in safe-haven assets.

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