India Trade Deficit: Record growth in April exports, trade deficit swells to $15.24 billion – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/india-april-trade-deficit-at-15-24-billion/articleshow/82351264.cmsSynopsis

Major export commodities which have recorded positive growth in April include gems and jewellery, jute, carpet, handicrafts, leather, electronic goods, oil meals, cashew, engineering, petroleum products, marine products and chemicals.

Led by a sharp growth in exports of gems and jewellery, engineering goods and petroleum products, and supported by base effect India’s outbound goods shipments in April rose a record 197.03% to $30.21 billion. Exports had contracted a sharp 60.28% in April last year due to the national lockdown and halt in manufacturing to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first month of 2021-22, goods imports rose 165.99% to $45.45 billion, widening trade deficit to $15.24 billion during the month which was 120.34 % higher than the deficit in the same month last year, preliminary estimates released by the commerce and industry ministry showed on Sunday. Trade deficit in March was $13.93 billion.

“India is thus a net importer in April with a trade deficit of $15.24 billion, which increased by 120.34% over the trade deficit of $6.92 billion in April 2020,” the ministry said in a statement.

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Non-oil, non-gold, silver and precious metals imports- a measure of the strength of domestic demand-rose a sharp 111.3%. The top importer sectors were petroleum, gold and electronic goods. Gold imports last month increased a whopping 215906.91% over the same period last year.

Exports and imports in April grew 16.03% and 7.2%, respectively compared to April 2019, the pre-pandemic period.

Major export commodities which have recorded positive growth in April include gems and jewellery, jute, carpet, handicrafts, leather, electronic goods, oil meals, cashew, engineering, petroleum products, marine products and chemicals

“The impressive growth reiterates our assessment that order booking position of our exporters is extremely good and with gradual improvement of situation in the country, will push exports growth further,” said Sharad Kumar Saraf, president, Federation of Indian Export Organiations (FIEO), adding that the growth in labour-intensive sectors like gems & jewellery, handicrafts and carpets augur well for the job scenario, which is most relevant in the current context.

Engineering goods exports zoomed 234.63% in April 2021 indicating that recovery in outbound trade is well on track and outlook remains positive. While sharp jump in shipments is primarily on account of low-base effect, it has also been supported by robust demand, said EEPC India chairman Mahesh Desai.

Last month, the value of non-petroleum exports doubled to $26.85 billion compared to April 2020 and 19.44% over $22.48 billion in the same period in 2019.

In April 2021, oil imports grew 132.26% to $10.8 billion while non-oil imports rose 178.6% year-on-year to $34.65 billion.

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