Exports Dip 9%, Trade Deficit Narrows In November, Preliminary Data Shows
Shipping containers sit stacked at a port. (Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg)

Exports Dip 9%, Trade Deficit Narrows In November, Preliminary Data Shows

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India's exports fell 9% to $23.43 billion in November due to a drop in shipments of segments such as petroleum products, engineering and chemicals.

Imports also slipped 13.33% to $33.39 billion in the month under review, preliminary merchandise trade data released on Wednesday showed. Trade deficit narrowed to $9.96 billion.

In November, oil imports dipped 43.34% to $6.27 billion. It was down by 48.7% to $44.10 billion during April-November 2020, the data showed.

Exports during April-November 2020 were $173.49 billion, compared with $211.17 billion during the corresponding period a year ago, exhibiting a negative growth of 17.84%.

Merchandise imports during the eight month period of 2020-21 declined by 33.56% to $215.67 billion.

"India was thus a net importer in November 2020, with a trade deficit of $9.96 billion, as compared to a trade deficit of $12.75 billion," it said.

Non-oil imports in November were estimated at $27.12 billion, showing a decline of 1.22% over the same month last year. During April-November, it was down by 28% to $171.57 billion.

Also read: India’s Export Recovery Lags As Asian Peers Race Ahead

Major commodities of export that have recorded negative growth during November are petroleum products (61.05%), leather (29.8%), cashew (24.%), plastic and linoleum (23.34%) and marine products (16.11%).

Engineering goods (8.27%), organic and inorganic chemicals (8.09 per cent), coffee (1.27%), and readymade garments of all textiles (1.2%) are the other commodities that saw negative growth.

Products that recorded positive growth during November include oil meals (70.54%), iron ore (68.15%), rice (24.4%), carpet (15.58%), spices (12.12%) and pharmaceuticals (11.13%).

Tobacco (8.64%), fruits and vegetables (5.33%), tea (5.02%), and gems and jewellery (4.11%) are the other commodities that saw positive growth.

The country's exports are in negative zone since March due to slowdown in demand on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. But, it turned positive in September. Exports in October again dipped by 5.4%. Imports have also been contracting since March.

Also read: India’s Agricultural Exports Flourish Amid Volatile Foreign Trade

The preliminary data showed that import sectors that reported negative growth in November include silver (89.71%), cotton raw and waste (74.09%), newsprint (69.96%), machine tools (26.55%), transport equipment (19.62%), and chemicals (3.23%).

However, certain sectors reported positive growth and that include vegetable oil (34.02%), fertilisers, crude and manufactured (29.25%), pulses (18.16 per cent), electronic goods (12.25%), and Gold (2.65%).

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