Exports rise 16.2% , imports up 1.1% in first week of Jan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2021

Engineering goods and petroleum products put exports on growth track   -  REUTERS

Imports grow 1.1% with rise in veg oil, pearls, precious & semi-precious stones

Engineering goods and petroleum products have placed India’s exports on the growth track in the first week of January with outbound shipments posting an increase of 16.2 per cent (year-on-year) to $6.2 billion, according to preliminary data shared by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

Imports, too, registered a growth of 1.1 per cent during the week at $8.7 billion, due to a sharp increase in imports of pearls, precious & semi-precious stones and vegetable oil, compared to the same period of the previous year, according to data.

While the rise in exports in the first week is good news especially at a time when over-all trade figures have been sliding both domestically and globally due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, one has to wait for the data for the entire month before drawing conclusions.

In the month of November last year, the export data for the first week had posted an increase of 22.5 per cent to $6.75 billion, but exports for the entire month were down 9 per cent to $23.43 billion.

Rise in shipments

Engineering goods showcased the maximum increase of 51.8 per cent ( an additional $636.8 million), accounting for nearly 73.5 per cent of the overall increase. It was led by increase in exports to South Africa.

Petroleum products also contributed to increase in exports, driven by rise in shipments to South Africa and Australia, and accounted for 13.2 per cent of the total increase. Its exports increased by 17.3 per cent (an additional $114.7 million)

Some of the increase was offset by decrease in exports of ready-made garments, (26-per cent decline), man-made yarns (22-per cent decline) and inorganic and organic chemicals (5.5-per cent decline)

Imports of pearls, precious & semi-precious stones increased 86.5 per cent (an increase of $220.6 million) accounting for 238.8 per cent of the overall increase. This was mainly due to increase in imports from the UAE and the US.

Vegetable oil also registered an increase of 88.2 per cent accounting for 131 per cent of the total increase.

Some of the increase was offset by decrease in imports of transport equipment (59.8 per cent decline), petroleum products (14.5 per cent decline) and fertilisers (35.9 per cent decline).

In April-December 2020-21, the country's merchandise exports contracted by 15.8 per cent to $200.55 billion, compared to $238.27 billion in the same period of 2019-20.

The decline in imports during the nine months of the current fiscal was sharper at 29.08 per cent to $258.29 billion.

Published on January 11, 2021

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