Sharp fall in gold imports shrinks March trade deficit

| Updated on: Apr 18, 2016
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Exports lag on global trade slowdown

India’s goods exports fell for the 16th consecutive month in March, posting a 5.47 per cent year-on-year fall to $22.71 billion as global demand remained sluggish. However, a sharper fall in imports resulted in the trade deficit for the month narrowing by more than half.

Gold imports plunged 80.48 per cent to $973 million in March from $4.98 billion during the corresponding month last year as the nationwide jewellers’ strike depressed demand. This resulted in overall imports declining 21.56 per cent to $27.78 billion. The trade deficit shrank to $5.07 billion from $11.39 billion in March 2015.

It was also the second consecutive annual decline for exports, which fell 15.85 per cent in 2015-16 to $261.13 billion from $310 billion in the previous fiscal year. In 2013-14, exports stood at $314 billion.

The Commerce Ministry said the continuous fall was due to the global slowdown in trade. “Growth in exports has fallen for the US (by 10.81 per cent), the European Union (7.40 per cent), China (11.37 per cent) and Japan (12.85 per cent) for January 2016 over the corresponding period previous year as per WTO statistics,” said an official release.

Published on January 20, 2018

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