With the Coronavirus epidemic around the country decreasing oxygen supply and demand for more supplies from the Center by the state government, official data shows that India has released the first three quarters of the 2020-21 fiscal year. Exports of about 9,294 metric tons (MT) of oxygen.
In the April-January period of the financial year, the figures of the official of the Department of Commerce, Oxygen Exports have increased compared to the previous year and more than doubled from the total exports of 4,502 MT in the previous year. This was liquid oxygen, which could later be used for both industrial and medical purposes.
Bangladesh, which historically has been India’s largest buyer of oxygen, received 8,828 metric tons of oxygen. Exports stood at 13,844 MT in 2016-17, after which it was steadily decreasing. It decreased to 4219 MT in 2018-19 and to just 3189 MT in a year of the epidemic in 2019-20.
But since then, the demand has skyrocketed, as the country itself is struggling with a coronovirus crisis and suffering from a massive lack of oxygen production on a large scale. While earlier most of the demand was high due to industrial needs, now the increase in imports is due to Dhaka, where the need for medical oxygen is increasing.
A senior official of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations reportedly said, “Linde Bangladesh, which is part of the Multinational Linde Group, is a global leader in the international industrial gas market as the largest importer of oxygen from India. The company has grown to include big cities like Dhaka and Chittagong. 90 percent of medical oxygen supplies required in cities. “
Exports from India reached a 3-year high in the first nine months of FY15, but the government has now decided to issue a tender to import 50,000 metric tons of medical oxygen from abroad.
The Ministry of Health recently said that it has requested the Ministry of External Affairs to find out where oxygen can be imported. In the past week, complaints of lack of oxygen cylinders have started coming from Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and many other places.
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