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Exports glass half-full in May

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 15, 2016

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Decline is the least in 18 months; exporters see better times

India’s exports may finally be readying to slip out of the red with outbound shipments in May 2016 posting a marginal fall of 0.8 per cent to $22.17 billion compared to the same month last year.

Imports posted a sharper decline of 13.16 per cent to $28.44 billion during the month, bringing down trade deficit to $6.27 billion compared to $10.40 billion in May 2015, according to figures released by the Commerce Ministry on Wednesday.

This is the 18th consecutive month of decline for the country’s exports, hit by low global demand and falling commodity prices, but exporters are hopeful that things would turn better now. “Exports are all set to take off from here and we can look for double-digit growth from October onwards. This may pave the way for reaching $300 billion in the current fiscal,” said SC Ralhan, President, Fieo.

Industry body CII, however, is less optimistic and believes that the uncertainty in the global economy will continue to persist. “India’s existing incentive and subsidy scheme should be used to help those sectors/products which have greater export potential,” said Sanjay Budhia of the CII.

The slowdown in export decline is also due to a low base. India’s exports declined for the second consecutive year in 2015-16, falling 15.85 per cent to $261.13 billion.

Exports of gems & jewellery, handicrafts, engineering products, chemicals and marine products rose in May 2016 while petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, meat, oilmeals and yarn declined.

Import of gold fell 39 per cent in May 2016 to $ 1.47 billion.

Non-petroleum exports in May 2016 posted a small increase of 1.01 per cent to $20.11 billion.

Total exports for the period April-May 2016-17 were $42.73 billion, posting a fall of 3.74 per cent.  Total imports for the period April-May 2016-17 were $53.85 billion, registering a fall of 18.15 per cent.

Published on June 15, 2016
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