Ringing in festival cheer for exporters, goods exports posted an increase of 4.62 per cent in September 2016 to $22.88 billion (year-on-year) — the second instance of monthly growth this fiscal — with substantial rise in shipments of gems & jewellery, engineering goods, garments & textiles, iron ore and handicrafts.

Imports during the month at $31.22 billion were 2.54 per cent lower than the same month last year as non-oil imports continued to dip. There was a fall in imports across sectors, including transport equipment, project goods, gold & silver, electronic goods, textiles, fertilizers, chemicals, dyes and iron & steel. Trade deficit, however, narrowed to $8.33 billion compared to $10.16 billion last September.

“This is a very encouraging development as China, South Korea and many other exporting countries exhibited double digit decline in exports. What is more assuring is the across sectors growth in exports as about 20 of the major 30 product groups turned positive in September,” said FIEO President SC Ralhan.

This fiscal, exports had registered a growth in June following 18 months of continuous decline due to poor global demand, but fell again in July and August.

Despite the overall growth in exports in September 2016, several items such as leather, meat, man-made yarn, petroleum products, rice, coal and oilseeds continued to decline.

Total exports in April-September 2016-17 fell 1.74 per cent to $131.40 billion compared to the same period last fiscal. Total imports in the six-month period of 2016-17 at $174.40 billion was lower by 13.77 per cent compared to the same period last fiscal.

Due to the sharp drop in imports, trade deficit for April-September 2016-17 at $43 billion was 37.26 per cent lower than the deficit of $68.54 billion during April-September 2015-16.