Exports rise 20% in April, but trade deficit zooms

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018

bl15_Exports data

Imports grow 49% on crude purchases; gold flows surge too

India’s exports in April grew by 19.77 per cent year-on-year in dollar terms, while imports grew by 49.07 per cent (in dollar terms) as compared to imports in April 2016.

The spike in imports was mainly due to higher purchase of crude oil and petroleum products.

Imports up

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce, imports grew to $37,884.28 million during the period under consideration. In rupee terms, imports grew by 44.67 per cent as compared to April 2016 to ₹2,44,380.52 crore during April 2017. Gold imports surged 211.35 per cent to $3,853.10 million in April 2016 from $1,237.55 million in April 2017. Imports of Coal, Coke and Briquettes, too doubled (94.92 per cent growth) to $1,865.13 million from $956.86 million.

Petro products exports

Exports of petroleum products grew by 48.77 per cent to $2,945.04 million from $1,979.58 million.

Oil imports during April, 2017 were valued at $7,359.27 million, which was 30.12 per cent higher than imports worth $5,655.92 million in April 2016. The Ministry said, “The global Brent prices have increased by 25.40 per cent in April 2017 vis-à-vis April 2016 as per World Bank commodity price data.”

Non-oil imports too during April 2017 were estimated at $30,525.01 million which was 54.50 per cent higher than imports worth $19,757.80 million in April 2016.

According to the Commerce Ministry, exports during April 2017 was $24,635.09 million compared to $20,568.85 million during April 2016. In rupee terms, exports were valued at ₹1,58,913.79 crore during April 2017 as compared with ₹1,36,720.11 crore during April 2016, registering a growth of 16.23 per cent.

The Commerce Ministry estimated trade deficit for April 2017 at $13,249.19 million, which was nearly double (173.47 per cent higher) the deficit of $4,844.87 million during April 2016.

Exporters happy

However, exporters are happy. FIEO President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said exports grew in 23 out of the 30 major product groups, and continued with its positive trend in April 2017 also.

He said petroleum exports which has a major contribution in the exports basket has once again contributed with a robust growth of over 48 per cent.

Gupta said that the increasing imports is primarily on account of high imports of petroleum, crude & products, electronic goods, gold, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones which augured well for gems & jewellery exports during the first month of the fiscal.

The higher import of petroleum is also reflected in higher exports of petro products.

“However, we need to analyse the reasons for increasing electronic imports,” he added.

Published on May 15, 2017

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