Ten straight months of growth: Exports rise 22% to $33.79 billion in September

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 14, 2021

Trade deficit widens as imports of gold, petroleum products rise

India’s exports increased for the tenth straight month in September 2021, posting a growth of 22.63 per cent to $33.79 billion (year-on-year). Items like petroleum products, engineering goods and gems & jewellery pushed the exports up, as per quick estimates released by the government.

Exports in the first six months of the fiscal posted a 57.53 per cent growth to $197.89 billion, almost reaching half the ambitious export target of $400 billion set by the Commerce & Industry Ministry for 2021-22. The export goal of $ 400 billion may well be reached if growth stayed on track, say experts.

Trade deficit increases

Imports of goods in September 2021 posted a sharper increase of 84.77 per cent to $56.39 billion due to a steep rise in imports of petroleum products and gold. As a result, trade deficit during the month widened to $22.59 billion compared to $2.96 billion in September 2020.

In April-September 2021, imports grew 81.67 per cent to $276.02 billion with trade deficit increasing to $78.13 billion from $26.31 billion in the same period last year.

‘Positive trends’

“Cumulatively, the first six months of India’s exports is close to the proportionate target of $200 billion for this period. Usually, there would be acceleration in demand in the second half of every fiscal due to festivities and increased business activities, and thus the level of exports would also be greater in the second week of FY 22,” pointed out Prahalathan Iyer, Chief General Manager, Research & Analysis, India Exim Bank.

The fear of the third wave is also less now with increasing pace of vaccination and there is a rebound in industrial activities, Iyer said, adding that with such positive trends, India will easily achieve the export target of $400 billion this year.

With the recovery in global trade and demand for Indian products, the Union Commerce & Industry Ministry has set a tough export target of $400 billion for 2021-22 compared to $291 billion exports registered in 2020-21. Exports were hit in 2020-21 due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As compared to September 2019 (pre-pandemic year), exports in September 2021 registered a growth of 29.86 per cent.

Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in September grew 18.82 per cent to $25.34 billion, indicating that export growth was not restricted to the two sectors. Non-oil and non-gold imports in the month grew 40.45 per cent at $33.84 billion.

Published on October 14, 2021

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