The country’s goods exports in 2022 grew 2.14 per cent (year-on-year) to $36.27 billion, exhibiting signs of flattening, as key sectors including engineering goods, readymade garments, gems & jewellery and pharmaceuticals registered a drop.   

Trade deficit almost tripled to $30 billion in July as imports increased 43.61 per cent to $66.27 billion fuelled by items such as petroleum products, coal, vegetable oil, fertilisers, chemicals and electronic goods, according to quick estimates released by Commerce & Industry Ministry on Friday.

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Global decline in their prices aid the trend

Preliminary trade data for July, released by the government on August 2, had estimated goods exports at $35.24 billion and imports at $66.26 billion.

Goods exports for April-July 2022 posted a growth of 20.13 per cent to $157.44 billion  while imports grew 48.12 per cent to $256.43 billion. Trade deficit in April-July 2022 more than doubled to $98.99 billion from $42.07 billion in the same period last year.

India’s goods exports in June 2022 grew 23.52 per cent to $40.13 billion, per quick estimates released last month.

Signs of slowdown

Exporters’ body FIEO cautioned that signs of a likely slowdown in exports could be seen as global inventories were high. Factors such as inflation reducing purchasing powers in most economies, recession already setting in some advanced nations and a shift in consumption from goods to services with opening up of economies after Covid-19 pandemic were hurting goods exports.

“The dip in engineering goods exports in July reflects weak demand from India’s major markets. The recession fears in the West have added to the uncertainties. While geopolitical risks remain elevated and pose downside risks to growth, the recent softening in commodity prices has come as a relief,” said Mahesh Desai, Chairman, EEPC India.

Non-petroleum and non-gems & jewellery exports in July posted a growth of 1.55 per cent to $ 26.62 billion, according to the official release.

Non-petroleum, non-gems & jewellery (gold, silver & precious metals) imports registered a growth of 42.91 per cent in July 2022 to $ 38.45 billion in July 2022.

India’s exports touched an all-time high of $420 billion in 2021-22 but an estimate for exports for the on-going fiscal is yet to be made as global uncertainties continue.

Top sectors leading exports growth during the first four months of the fiscal include petroleum products, engineering goods, gems & jewellery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronic goods, readymade garments and rice.

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