Pharma Export Misses Annual Target As Only 0.13% Growth Registered In FY-22

New Delhi : Exports of pharmaceuticals for the fiscal year 2021-22 registered a meagre 0.13 per cent growth compared to the previous year, and has missed the ambitious target set by the government at the beginning of the year by a huge margin. The growth is also overshadowed by an exceptional growth of 18.19 per cent in the financial year 2020-21.

According to the preliminary data released by the Government of India, the exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals for the fiscal year 2021-22 ended March 31, 2022, was $24.47 billion as against $24.44 billion in the previous year. This is at a time when the country’s overall merchandise exports has seen a 43.18 per cent increase to $417.81 billion as compared to $291.81 billion in the corresponding 12 months of the previous fiscal year.

Exports of pharmaceuticals for the month of March have once again registered a decline of 1.46 per cent at $2.26 billion in March 2022, as compared to $2.29 per cent in the same month of previous year. This is the third consecutive month the sector registered a decline in exports, with January registering a 1.15 per cent decline and February, at 3.13 per cent.

Drugs and pharmaceuticals remain in the fifth position with 5.86 per cent of exports among the top 10 major commodity groups that are exported from the country, preceded by engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery and organic and inorganic chemicals.

In the last seven months from September, the sector has registered a decline in six months, with the only growth being registered in December, 2021, at 5.2 per cent to $2.32 billion as compared to $2.2 billion in the same month of previous year.

The year 2020-21 saw an exceptional growth of 18.19 per cent in exports, to $24.4 billion, which is a kind of growth that happened after eight years.

However, during the current fiscal, there are several reasons impacting the exports, including the freight cost increase and a decline in exports to the US owing to the pending regulatory inspections in Indian sites by the US Food and Drug Administration, said industry experts.

Some of the warning letters issued by the US drug regulator also impacted the exports to the US market.

Some of the manufacturers in Japan and Europe also revived their pharma business during the Covid-19 period and started supplying to the US, which is another factor that may impact the Indian exporters, they said.

Pharmaceutical exports have registered growth in the last few years, following a 2.92 per cent growth it registered for the year 2017-18, at $17.28 billion. The year 2018-19 has seen a growth of 10.72 per cent to $19.13 billion compared to the previous year, 2019-20 with a growth of 7.57 per cent to $20.58 billion, before hitting an eight year high or 18.19 per cent growth to $24.44 billion in the year 2020-21.

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