Gantry cranes move shipping containers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, operated by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India’s Trade Deficit Widens In March

India’s trade deficit widened in March as higher crude prices and rising gold demand increased the burden on import bill.

The gap between India’s imports and exports stood at $10.9 billion last month, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce. A Bloomberg survey had projected the deficit at $9.7 billion. The gap in February was the lowest in 17 months at $9.6 billion.

Imports stood at $43.44 billion in March, up from $36.3 billion in the preceding month and $42.82 billion a year ago. India’s crude oil import rose 5.55 percent over last year to $11.75 billion in March. The oil import bill in April 2018-March 2019 rose 29.3 percent from the year-ago period to $140.47 billion.

Exports widened to $32.55 billion in March from $29.32 billion a year ago. It also widened from $26.7 billion shipped in February.

Import Highlights:

  • Gold imports rose 31.2 percent to $3.27 billion.
  • Pearl and precious stone imports fell 1.03 percent to $3 billion.
  • Machinery imports fell 5.7 percent to $3.2 billion.
  • Electronic goods imports fell 5.7 percent to $4.7 billion.
  • Coal imports fell 14.9 percent to $2 billion.
  • Iron and steel imports rose 16.9 percent to $1.6 billion.

Export Highlights:

  • Gems and jewellery exports fell 0.37 percent to $3.4 billion.
  • Engineering goods exports rose 16.2 percent to $9.41 billion.
  • Ready-made garment exports rose 15 percent to $1.7 billion.
  • Petroleum product exports rose 6.6 percent to $3.5 billion.
  • Drug and pharmaceutical exports rose 13.6 percent to $2 billion.
  • Chemical exports grew 17 percent to $2.32 billion.