New Delhi: The five-member BRICS bloc saw a 5.8 percent growth in containerised trade with the world in the first half of 2016 on the back of a strong showing by India, says Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping company.
"BRICS export-import (exim) containerised trade with the world registered a growth of 5.8 percent in the first half of 2016 as against de-growth of 2.2 percent in the same period last year," it said.
This growth for BRICS, it said, was "led by India followed by China and is forecast to gain pace next year as Brazil and Russia are expected to emerge from recession, contributing to higher GDP expansion".
Volumes should improve as GDP for BRICS is expected to increase to 5.7 percent in 2017, an improvement over the previous forecast of 5.3 percent.
"China is expected to grow more than 6 percent in 2017, India at 8 percent, Brazil at more than 0.5 pr cent and Russia at above 1 percent," it said in a release here.
Economic uncertainty has been a deterrent to investments in infrastructure, which is critically important to help countries lower their supply chain cost and consequently boost exports as well as improve competitiveness.
According to Maersk Line, if a country is able to lower trade costs by 10 percent, exports can increase by more than 20 percent.
The heads of BRICS countries are meeting in Goa this weekend to discuss improving collaboration and increasing trade.
While 2016 did not start positively for the world, India paced up in the first half of this year. This growth was on the back of a strong US economy and recovery in the European market.
"That said, it is worth mentioning that trade among BRICS countries continues to grow although China remains BRICS' as well as India's largest trading partner responsible for 82 percent of Indian containerised trade."
Franck Dedenis, MD, India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh Cluster, Maersk Line, said: "India exim trade with BRICS nations has been consistently growing at 4 percent since 2012."
He further said recovery in Brazil and Russian economy is "good news" for BRICS and it might entail an increase of trade among India and China in 2017.
"We are also noticing some interesting trends that are beginning to emerge of late. Rise of India, Thailand and Vietnam as alternative sourcing markets to China can put some pressure on China in future," he said.
China, Maersk said, remains India's strongest trading partner followed by Russia and Brazil. India's exim trade with BRICS nations was strong at 6.5 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, in 2015 and 2016.
"Within BRICS, China with 82 percent of India's exim trade is its biggest trading partner," it said.
India's exports to BRICS in the first half of 2016 grew on the back of strong demand from China, which contributes 73 percent to the total pie.
In the first half of 2015, India's exports to BRICS had witnessed a degrowth of 6 percent, where the exports to China and Russia had fallen 8.2 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
The country's exports to BRICS had witnessed a consistent degrowth of 0.5 percent and 6.9 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Its top exports partner in BRICS is China, followed by South Africa and Brazil. The outbound shipments to China constitute 73 percent of its total exports to BRICS. The figure was 75 percent in 2012, but came down due to lower demand from China in 2014 and 2015.
India's exports to South Africa grew at a clip of 13 percent in 2015, from 11 percent in 2013.
Imports into India from BRICS saw a strong growth of 8.7 percent in the first half of 2016 and 12.9 percent in H1 of 2015.
The in-bound shipments from Brazil nearly doubled in growth in 2015 and 2016. The same from other BRICS countries consistently rose 1.9 percent, 9.7 percent and 7.5 percent in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Top countries from whom India imports in BRICS are China followed by South Africa and Russia.