India’s goods exports in July 2021 posted a 47.91 per cent increase (year-on-year) to $ 35.17 billion — the highest exports recorded in at least nine years — fuelled by strong performance of petroleum products, gems & jewellery and engineering goods.

Growth of exports in the non-petroleum and non-gems & jewellery categories was 27.36 per cent at $26.11 billion indicating that the rise in exports was not restricted to just these sectors.

Imports of goods in July 2021 increased 59.38 per cent to $46.40 billion with a sharp rise in imports of petroleum products, gold and pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, according to monthly trade trends shared by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Monday. Trade deficit during the month was $11.23 billion.

Exports in July 2021 were higher by 34.06 per cent than in July 2019, when production was not affected by Covid-19 disruptions.

Buoyant global demand

“This is the highest-ever exports recorded at least in the previous 9 years as per the data readily available with FIEO. It also is a sign that global trade is recovering fast,” FIEO President A Sakthivel said in an official release. He said that global demand during this period has remained buoyant as the order booking positions of the exporters continued to be impressive.

The US, the UAE and Belgium accounted for the sharpest increase in exports during the month while Malaysia, Iran and Tanzania posted a decline, the data showed.

“India’s merchandise exports in July 2021 were $35.17 billion, an increase of 34 per cent over July 2019. PM Narendra Modi-ji’s vision for Aatmanirbhar Bharat has given a boost to exports,” Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

The Minister had earlier said the growth in July exports indicated that the country was on track to cross the $400 billion target set for the current fiscal.

The sharpest increase in imports during the month were from the UAE, Iraq and Switzerland. There was a significant fall in imports from France, Germany and Kazakhstan, per the figures shared.

Items which suffered a fall in exports in July 2021 included meat, dairy & poultry products (some countries like Cambodia have raised contamination issues that have been challenged by India), rice and oil seeds.

Import of items including transport equipment, project goods and silver posted the steepest decline during the month.

India’s goods exports in June 2021 had posted a rise of 48.34 per cent (year-on-year) to $32.50 billion. In the April-June 2021 period, cumulative value of export was $ 95.39 billion, the highest ever merchandise exports in a quarter, posting an increase of 85.88 per cent (year-on-year).

In the fiscal year April-March 2021, exports declined by 7.26 per cent to $ 290.63 billion compared to the previous fiscal as Covid-19 disruptions slowed down production and demand worldwide.