Exports in Sept rise 6% as garments, drugs, rice improve performance

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 15, 2020 Published on October 15, 2020

The reversal in trend for exports in September is a matter of relief   -  Bloomberg

Imports fall 19.6%; trade deficit shrinks to $2.72 billion

Sectors such as readymade garments, drugs and pharmaceuticals, iron ore, rice, cereals, carpets and engineering goods pulled up the country’s total goods exports in September by 5.99 per cent (year-on-year) to $27.58 billion following a six-month continuous decline in shipments due to Covid-19 disruptions, as per quick estimates released by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Thursday.

Imports during the month, however, declined 19.6 per cent to $30.31 billion shrinking the trade deficit by 76.66 per cent to $2.72 billion compared to $11.67 billion in September 2019.

The numbers announced by the Commerce & Industry Ministry are in line with the September trade data shared by Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal earlier this month based on preliminary data compiled by the government.

Some relief

Some exporters point out that while the reversal in trend for exports in September is a matter of relief, the challenges in external trade would continue given the present state of global health emergency and its economic impact on the major economies. “Engineering exports too have shown a positive trend of 5.44 per cent for September, although the major turnaround has come about thanks to a sharp increase in pharma exports, for understandable reasons,” said Mahesh Desai, Chairman, EEPC.

Exporters body FIEO said the export growth in September reflected the improved world trade projection of the World Trade Organization and provided hope, but reduced imports was a concern. “Reduction in import of precious metals including gold, silver, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones along with leather used as raw material for gems and jewellery and leather & leather product exports during the month does not augur well for these major labour-intensive sectors of exports,” FIEO stated.

Imports of transport equipment, machinery, petroleum products, pearls and precious and semi-precious stones and chemicals posted a steep decline in September.

Major commodities that registered a fall in exports during the month include cashew, gems & jewellery, man-made yarn, mica, coal& other ores, minerals including processed minerals, marine products, leather, tea and fruits & vegetables, as per the data.

Total exports down in H1

Total exports for April-September 2020-21 were 21.31 per cent lower at $125.25 billion compared to the same period last fiscal. Imports in April-September 2020-21 were 40.06 per cent lower at $148.69 billion compared to April-September 2019-20.

Trade deficit in April-September 2020-21 was $23.44 billion which was almost a fourth of $88.92 billion in the comparable period last year.

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Published on October 15, 2020
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