Though the outbreak of coronavirus has hit the global economy, the Indian pharma industry’s exports have managed to grow by 10 per cent in dollar terms during the first quarter of the current financial year over the previous year, informed Pharmexcil.
For the period of April-June 2020, the sector has managed to export pharma products to 206 countries and recorded $2018.21 million as against $1835.5 million in the same period, last year.
Despite disturbed pharma supply chain due to COVID-19 in domestic as well as international markets the sector managed to grow considerably. The sector recorded 9.46 per cent growth for the period of April – May 2020.
Commenting on the performance of the sector, Dr Dinesh Dua, Chairman, Pharmexcil said, “India maintains its exports excellence during highly challenging and stressful times in June 2020 as well as in Q1, 2020 over June 2019 or first quarter of 2019.”
Explaining the factors for this growth, Anil Khanna, Partner, Wisdomsmith Advisors explained, “Pharma exports have picked up during Q1 FY21, and they have registered 9.5 per cent growth in dollar terms, and 22 per cent growth in rupee terms over FY20. This is a credible performance, keeping in mind April was the first full month of total and stringent lockdown. One of the key contributors for the pharma growth in Q1 was higher export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol, related COVID-19 pandemic usage.”
He continued, “The exports prospects look good for the coming months of FY21, as well. A large number of countries are using anti-virals for treatment of coronavirus in which India has a strong presence and good exports history. For instance, remdesivir, which is being actively used across countries, in addition to steroid dexamethasone, will give impetus to exports in the next few months. Many Indian pharma companies have already inked agreements to manufacture and export remdesivir and many more to join the race.”
Now, the industry is asking the government to resume flights to Africa, which is one of the largest importers of India’s goods. Dua appealed to the government, “Now that the US and EU flights are opening up, we look forward to greater growth in Q2, 2020. We appeal to Hardeep Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation and MOS, Commerce and Industry, to explore resuming Air India Africa flights as Africa is the second-largest importer of Indian pharma products, particularly MSMEs, which will give a significant boost to our exports. This will immensely help us to get to our coveted target of $25 billion in FY 2020-21 from $21 billion in FY 2019-20 as committed to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry.”
Bhavin Mehta, Director, Kilitch Drugs commented, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the world, air freight charges to Africa has increased to almost three to four times, which is ultimately affecting the business. However, if such requests are taken into consideration by the government then it will work as a breather to the industry.”