India’s goods exports declined 8.8 per cent in February to $33.8 billion, compared with $37.15 billion in February 2022 as performance of several key items continued to take a hit due to a slowdown in global trade, per quick estimates issued by the Commerce Department on Wednesday. But the government is optimistic that exports in the current fiscal will surpass last year’s performance.

Imports, too, declined 8 per cent last month to $51.31 billion ($55.90 billion), while the trade deficit narrowed to $17.43 billion ($18.75 billion).

Reaching target

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal, in a media interaction on Wednesday, said services exports have been performing well and there were indications that the government would surpass the overall exports target — goods and services combined — of $750 billion in 2022-23. Last fiscal, exports of goods and services were at $676 billion.

However, he said disaggregated estimates for goods and services exports had not been made. “Given the current figures, we will exceed the combined export target of $750 billion in 2022-23. Even in merchandise, we will exceed last year’s figures. How much beyond, will depend on the final month. I don’t want to make any projections,” Barthwal said in response to a question on export estimates.

During the April-February 2022-23 period, exports increased 7.55 per cent y-o-y to $405.94 billion. Imports during the 11-month period increased 18.82 per cent to $653.47 billion, widening the fiscal deficit to $247.53 billion.


In February, as many as 14 of the 30 key sectors showed a growth in exports, while there was a decline in most others. Exports of electronic goods increased 29.85 per cent last month to $1.93 billion, led by mobile exports which grew 50 per cent touching $8.3 billion by end-January. Other sectors that performed well in exports included gems & jewellery, spices and marine products.

Sixteen sectors saw a decline in imports last month — including gold, which declined 45 per cent to $2.63 billion and crude and products, which declined 59.29 per cent.