Notwithstanding recessionary trends, pharmaceutical exports surged 21.7 per cent in July this year while in the first quarter ended June the growth was 11 per cent.
“It’s a big jump when the economy has been witnessing a slowdown in some sectors,” Mr. R. Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmaceutical Exports Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), said at a press conference recently.
In the first four months of the current fiscal, pharma exports grew by 13 per cent at $6.72-bn. “Going at this pace, the year may end with a higher export at about $21-22 billion during FY20,” Mr. Uday Bhaskar said.
Indian pharma exports stood at $19.14-bn in 2018-19 comprising bulk drugs, finished dosage formulations, Ayush, herbs and surgicals. Including the domestic share, pharma industry touched $40-bn.
According to Mr. Uday Bhaskar, better price stability in the US market and the general increase in volumes were among the factors driving export growth.
In the first quarter, exports to US, China, and Japan went up by 30 per cent, 37 per cent, and 32 per cent respectively as per Pharmexcil data.
Apart from increasing focus on exports to China and Japan aimed at long-term prospects, Pharmexcil has also seen increased interest from Australia and New Zealand in the Indian generic formulations, nutraceuticals and veterinary products.
“To sustain growth, we need to penetrate China and Japan markets in a big way and reduce dependency on APIs/intermediates imports from China,” he said. At present pharma imports from China are to the tune of $2.5-bn.
On the directions of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India, Pharmexcil has conducted a detailed study on measures needed for import substitution in pharma sector. “The report is ready and will be submitted to the Government in few weeks. We see need to promote pharma clusters for the production of chemicals, intermediaries and APIs,” he said.
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