Economy

Exports rise in April, but gold imports widen trade deficit

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on May 13, 2013

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"We are concerned about the growing trade deficit and the Government will come up with steps on how to contain it," says Commerce Secretary, S.R. Rao.

India’s goods exports grew for the fourth straight month in April at 1.68 per cent to $24.16 billion, but gold imports more than doubled during the month widening the trade deficit.

“The sharp rise in gold imports was not expected. Fall in gold prices could account for some increase in imports as it neutralises the increase in import duties, but it cannot explain such strong growth. The Government is doing something about it,” Director-General of Foreign Trade Anup Pujari said addressing a press conference on Monday.

Gold imports during the month rose 138 per cent to $7.5 billion from $3.1 billion in April 2012.

With an improvement in the US economy and rise in exports to new markets such as Latin America, Africa and CIS, the Commerce Department has set an export target of $325 billion for 2013-14 which will be about eight per cent higher than $300.6 billion in 2012-13.

Exports last year had declined 1.6 per cent as a slowdown in the European economy had shrunk demand. Imports increased by a marginal 0.44 per cent to $491.48 billion creating a trade deficit of $190.91 billion.

While exports had bounced back into positive territory in January this year, the growth decelerated a bit in April. Items that contributed to rise in exports in April, albeit marginal, include gems & jewellery, rice, ready made garments, cotton and marine products.

Engineering goods, which is one of the top export items, posted a decline of 8.6 per cent.

“The export incentives announced last month will start showing results in some time,” said Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao.

Imports during April increased 10.96 per cent to $41.95 billion, while trade deficit increased 21 per cent to $17.78 billion. “We are concerned about the growing trade deficit and the Government will come up with steps to contain it,” Rao said.

He said that gold imports in future would also depend on how the economy shapes up and whether people find better investment avenues or not.

Increase in imports was also posted in metals & scrap, organic & inorganic chemicals, wood & wood products and non-ferrous metal.



amiti.sen@thehindu.co.in

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Published on May 13, 2013
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