Economy

Exports decline 5.12% to $24.8 b in Oct; trade deficit shrinks to $8.71 b

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 13, 2020

Uncertainty ahead Exporters are apprehensive about the Covid-19 virus causing a fresh round of trouble across the globe   -  REUTERS

Imports fall 11.53% to $33.61 billion

India’s goods exports declined 5.12 per cent (year-on-year) to $24.89 billion in October pulled down by key sectors such as petroleum products, gems & jewellery, engineering goods, leather, electronic goods and marine products.

Imports of goods during the month saw a sharper fall of 11.53 per cent to $33.61 billion as sectors such as transport and equipment, petroleum and related products, machinery, coal & coke and chemicals registered a steep drop in inbound shipments, as per quick estimates of trade data for the month of October released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

Trade deficit at $8.71 billion, was 25 per cent lower than the deficit of $11.75 billion in October 2019, as fall in imports was higher compared to exports during the month.

Positive sectors

While overall there was a fall in exports in October, non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports registered a positive growth of 6.51 per cent at $20.31 billion, the release said. Gold imports posted a 35.88 per cent growth to $2.5 billion.

The trade data for October, is more or less in line with the early estimates compiled and shared by the government at the beginning of the month.

Exports had posted a rise of 5.99 per cent in September to $27.58 billion after contracting for six consecutive months leading to hopes of a turnaround.

The fall in exports in October reflects the prevailing uncertainty in the global market. The outlook for November, however, is positive.

India's exports grew 22.5 per cent (year on year) to $6.75 billion in the first week of November, as per a tweet by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday.

While positive about the rise in order queries from foreign buyers, exporters are apprehensive about the Covid-19 virus causing a fresh round of trouble across the globe, especially in the European Union and the US.

Second wave of pandemic

“With second wave of Covid-19 hitting Europe, and the US reeling under the pandemic, Indian exports face a tough winter of global trade,” said EEPC India Chairman, Mahesh Desai.

Total exports for April-October 2020-21 at $150.14 billion were 19.02 per cent lower than exports in the same period last fiscal.

Total imports in the April-October at $ 182.29 billion were 36.28 per cent lower than imports in the comparable period of 2019-10. Trade deficit during the period was $32.16 billion, which was one-third of the trade deficit in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Published on November 13, 2020

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