Goods exports decline 1.11 per cent in October, trade deficit shrinks

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2019 Published on November 15, 2019

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Petroleum products, leather, garments dip; electronics, engineering, chemicals rise

Exports of goods declined for the third month in a row in October 2019 to $26.38 billion posting a 1.11 per cent fall year-on-year (YoY) with sectors such as petroleum products, leather, ready made garments, carpets and a wide range of farm products taking a hit.

The fall in imports in October 2019 was at a steeper 16.31 per cent to $ 37.39 billion which narrowed the country’s trade deficit to $ 11.01 billion compared to $18 billion in October 2018.

There were, however, a number of labour-intensive sectors, such as gems & jewellery, engineering goods, drugs & pharmaceuticals and marine products, where exports increased during the month, although marginally, indicating a possible recovery in demand in the months ahead.

“The exports of October is reflective of the global slowdown which has led to the slackening of demand, which is also seen in fall of imports especially in raw material used for either production or manufacturing. However, few sectors like electronic goods, engineering goods and organic and inorganic chemicals are showing resilience and growth,” said Mohit Singla, Chairman, Trade Promotion Council of India.

In April-October 2019-20, exports fell 2.39 per cent to $ 185.95 billion while imports declined 8.37 per cent to $ 280.67 billion.

Trade deficit narrowed to $ 94.72 billion in April-October 2019 compared to $ 116.15 billion in April-October 2018.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), in its statement, pointed out that exporters were concerned about the popular Merchandise Export from India Scheme as their claims under the scheme were pending for over three and half months, which had affected liquidity positions and finalisation of new contracts.

“The World Trade Organisation-complaint scheme, Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products, should be notified with the rates for the products with lead time of three months so that exporters may factor the same in finalising new orders and make transition to new scheme smooth,” the release stated.

In October 2019, petroleum imports declined 31.7 per cent to $ 9.6 billion while gold import increased 4.74 per cent to $ 1.83 billion.

Published on November 15, 2019
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