India’s Exports Rise After Seven Months, Trade Deficit Narrows
An employee walks past gantry cranes loading shipping containers onto trucks from the Cosco New York container ship docked at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Photographer Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

India’s Exports Rise After Seven Months, Trade Deficit Narrows

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After contracting for six straight months, India’s exports rose 6% to $27.58 billion in September on account of growth in shipments of drugs and pharmaceuticals and readymade garments, as per the government data released on Thursday.

Exports stood at $26.02 billion in September 2019.

The country's imports declined 19.6% to $30.31 billion in September. It was $37.69 billion in the same month last year.

The trade deficit in September was $2.72 billion, compared to $11.67 billion in the year-ago month.

Gold imports declined by nearly 53% to $601.43 million in September.

"Exports in September 2020 were $27.58 billion, as compared to $26.02 billion in September 2019, exhibiting a positive growth of 5.99%," the government said in a statement.

During the April-September 2020 period, exports declined by 16.66% to $221.86 billion, while imports fell 35.43% to $204.12 billion over the same period last year.

Major export commodities that have recorded positive growth during September include iron ore (109.65% at $303.42 million), readymade garments (10.22% at $1.19 billion), rice (93.86% at $725.14 million), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (24.38% at $2.24 billion).

Also read: India Gold Imports Dip After Brief Rebound as Prices Curb Demand

However, outbound shipments of gems and jewellery declined 24.67% and Mica, Coal and other ores, minerals including processed minerals slipped 6.71%.

The data further revealed that non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in September stood at $21.27 billion, as compared to $19 billion in the same period previous fiscal, registering a growth of 11.94%.

Oil imports dipped 35.88 % to $5.83 billion in September. During April-September, it declined 51.14% to $31.86 billion.

"In this connection, it is mentioned that the global Brent price ($/bbl) has decreased by 34.08% in September 2020 vis-a-vis September 2019 as per data available from World Bank," the statement said.

Also read: India Says Slump in Diamond Exports Is Much Worse Than 2008

Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade surplus for April-September is estimated at $17.74 billion as compared to the deficit of $49.91 billion in the year-ago period.

The estimated value of services exports for September is $16.34 billion and that of imports is $9.49 billion.

Since March, the country's outbound shipments were recording negative growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant fall in global demand.

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