Goods exports from India declined 6.74 per cent year-on-year to $20.56 billion in April 2016, posting a seventeenth consecutive month of fall, as global demand and commodity prices remained weak.

Trade deficit narrowed to a five-year low to $4.84 billion with imports declining by a sharper 23.10 per cent to $25.41 billion. Fall in imports was across a number of sectors, including gold, petroleum products, machinery and electronic goods, according to figures released by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Friday.

Global trend “The trend of falling exports is in tandem with other major world economies. The growth in exports has fallen for the US, the EU, China and Japan by 3.87 per cent, 0.04 per cent, 25.34 per cent and 1.10 per cent, respectively for February 2016,” the release said.

India’s exports declined for the second consecutive year in 2015-16, falling 15.85 per cent to $261.13 billion.

In April, exports declined in most major categories including petroleum products, ready-made garments, engineering goods, cotton yarn, carpet, leather, rice and cashew.

Some items such as gems & jewellery, tobacco, electronic products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals posted an increase.

Oil imports in April dipped by 24.01 per cent to $ 5.6 billion. Non-oil imports too fell by 22.83 per cent to $ 19.75 billion. Gold import declined 60 per cent to $1.23 billion.

Exporters’ body FIEO expressed the hope that export growth will turn positive from June this year, as the fall had been “arrested’’ to some extent in March and April.

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