Exports to Egypt disrupted as fear of "loot" grip traders

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) India''s trade with strife-tornEgypt stands disrupted as shipments are now being put on holdon fears of looting.

While merchandise exports aggregated USD 1.4 billion,imports totalled USD 1.7 billion in the last fiscal.

With pick-up in demand, India''s total exports areprojected to grow by 20-25 per cent in 2010-11.

Exports have been impacted as the situation in Egypt isturning for the worse with tens of thousands of peopleindulging in street protests.

There were reports of looting and arson, resulting incommercial activities there.

"At this point of time there is disruption in trade --both export and import dispatches from Egypt have beenkept on hold," said Ajay Sahai, Director General of Federationof Indian Export Organisation (FIEO).

He said the impact would be serious if the situation isnot brought under control in the arab nation.

"Traders have stopped clearing consignments to and frofrom Egypt ," Sahai said.

Nearly 95 per cent of India''s import from Egypt compriseoil and gas. Coking coal, raw cotton, rock phosphate, andmarble, according to industry body FICCI.

The main Indian export items include frozen meat, cottonyarn and synthetic yarn, rice, diesel, tobacco, electricalmachinery, soybean, chemicals, automobiles and components,sugar, pharmaceuticals and tea.

"It is very unfortunate that our business is gettingaffected...the problems will definitely impact our bilateraltrade," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. PTI RR NKDPC

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