Trade deficit hits 7 months low as EXIM shrinks

India’s exports have contracted for a second consecutive month in September by 6.57% to $26 billion due to a decline in shipments of petroleum, engineering, gems & jewellery and leather products.

Imports too reduced by 13.85% to $36.89 billion in September, closing in the trade deficit to a seven-month low of $10.86 billion, according to the recently released government data.

Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that the declining trend in exports does not go well for the overall growth of the economy. Interest equalization support to all Agri exports should be quickly and seriously looked into, he said.

The trade deficit was $14.95 billion in September 2018.

Imports during the month slipped the most after August 2016, when inbound shipments had contracted by 14%.  Gold imports plunged 62.49% to $1.36 billion in the month.

In September, oil imports declined by 18.33% to $8.98 billion, and non-oil imports fell by 12.3% to $27.91 billion.  Cumulatively, during April-September 2019, exports were down 2.39% to $159.57 billion while imports contracted by 7% to $243.28 billion. Trade deficit during the period narrowed to $83.7 billion as against $98.15 billion in April-September 2018-19.

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