India’s Exports Rise 6.16% In January, Trade Deficit Narrows
A truck transporting a shipping container drives through the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, operated by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), in Navi Mumbai. (Photographer Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India’s Exports Rise 6.16% In January, Trade Deficit Narrows

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The country’s exports grew by 6.16% to $27.45 billion in January, according to data by the commerce ministry.

Imports, too, grew by 2% to about $42 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $14.54 billion during the month, the data showed. In December, India’s trade deficit had widened to $15.7 billion.

Exports of pharmaceuticals and engineering grew 16.4% $2 billion), and about 19% ($7.4 billion), respectively, the data showed.

Other sectors which recorded growth included oil meals, iron ore, tobacco, rice, fruits and vegetables, carpets, handicrafts, spices, tea, cashew, plastic and chemicals.

Export sectors which recorded negative growth included petroleum products (-32%), ready-made garments of all textiles (-10.73%), and leather (-18.6%).

In December 2020, the country's merchandise exports had recorded a growth of 0.14%.

Imports of gold jumped by about 155% to $4 billion in January this year.

Other import segments which recorded growth were pulses, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, cotton raw and waste, vegetable oil, chemicals, and machine tools.

Commenting on the numbers, Federation of Indian Export Organisations President S K Saraf said negative growth in exports of major products including petroleum products, leather, meat, dairy and poultry products, and gems and jewellery, which are major constituents of the export basket and mainly related to labour-intensive sectors, have been of key concern during the month.

He urged the government to soon notify the RoDTEP rates, which will remove uncertainty from the minds of the trade and industry thereby helping them forge new contracts with overseas buyers.

Cumulatively, exports during April-January this fiscal dipped by 13.58% to $228.25 billion, while imports declined by 25.92% to $300.26 billion.

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