Export orders for food, handicraft and readymade garments have risen at least 15% year-on-year owing to the upcoming festival season in the US and a higher demand for Indian sweets and snacks during Diwali, said traders.

The overall snacks, sweets and confectionaries segment has seen a 4-5% increase in export orders, they said. “Lifestyle products, textile, leather, handicraft and carpets are the goods that are most sought after during this period and there is strong order booking of above 20% in volume terms in some of them compared to last year,” said Ajay Sahai, director general, Federation of Indian Export Organisations. The increase could be 40% in value terms.

India’s merchandise exports in the April-September period amounted to $197.89 billion.

Exporters said most of the demand is coming from the US, where Covid-19 cases have declined and economic activity is picking up faster than in the UK and the European Union. “This is a festive season and there has been an average surge in the demand to the tune of more than 15% compared to the previous months, last year. The order books are full for the value added high-end products in the food and beverages sector,” said Mohit Singla, chairman, Trade Promotion Council of India. He said Diwali is a crucial time when food and beverage exports pick up.

“There is a marginal 2-3% increase compared to 2019 and brands are asking for quick delivery as consumers have begun spending,” said Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman of Chennai-based Farida Group.