Trucks wait in line as shipping containers stand in a terminal at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

India’s Trade Deficit Widens In January

India’s trade deficit widened in January over last month on higher imports.

The gap between exports and imports stood at $14.73 billion compared with $15.67 billion a year ago, according to a release from the Ministry of Commerce. That compares with Bloomberg’s estimate of $13.55 billion. Trade deficit had narrowed to the lowest in 10 months in December at $13.08 billion.

Imports stood at $41.09 billion in January, up from $41.01 billion in the preceding month and $41.08 billion a year ago. India’s crude oil import fell 3.59 percent over last year to $11.24 billion in January. Brent crude prices fell 14.09 percent in the reporting month.

The oil import bill in April 2018-January 2019 rose 36.65 percent from the year-ago period at $119.34 billion.

Exports widened to $26.36 billion in January from $25.41 billion a year ago. It, however, narrowed from $27.93-billion exported in December.

Import Highlights:

  • Gold imports rose 38 percent $2.3 billion.
  • Pearl and precious stone imports fell 36.5 percent to $1.5 billion.
  • Machinery imports rose 10.2 percent to $3.3 billion.
  • Electronic goods imports rose 8 percent to $4.7 billion.
  • Coal imports rose 2.2 percent to $2.2 billion.
  • Iron and steel imports rose 17.6 percent to $1.5 billion.

Export Highlights:

  • Gems and jewellery exports rose 6.67 percent to $3.24 billion.
  • Engineering goods exports rose 1.07 percent to $6.51 billion.
  • Ready-made garment exports rose 9.3 percent to $1.52 billion.
  • Petroleum product exports fell 19 percent to $3.2 billion.
  • Drug and pharmaceutical exports rose 15.2 percent $1.58 billion.
  • Chemical exports increased 15.6 percent to $1.86 billion.