Exports rise 5.27% in September, trade deficit narrows to $2.91 bn

The trade deficit during the month under review narrowed to USD 2.91 billion as against USD 11.67 billion in the same period of 2019. The exports in September last year stood at USD 26.02 billion.

Total merchandise imports fell by 40.06% to $148.69 billion during April-September while exports were down 21.43% from the year-ago period to $125.06 billion, the data showed.
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NEW DELHI: India’s exports grew after a gap of six month in September driven by growth in outbound shipment of cereals, carpets, rice, oilmeals and iron ore. Exports rose 5.27% on year to $27.4 billion in September while imports declined 19.6%, leaving a trade deficit of $2.91 billion, preliminary data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed. Trade deficit narrowed from $11.67 billion in September 2019.

Exports in September 2019 were $26.02 billion. Gold imports shrank 52.85% last month.

“India is thus a net importer in September 2020…showing a substantial improvement of 75.06%,” the ministry said in a statement.

Non-oil, non-gold imports- an indicator of the strength of domestic demand- declined 13.29% on-year last month.

“The y-o-y growth in merchandise exports in September 2020 is heartening, after the faltering trend seen in the previous month. Regardless, the sharp gap in non-oil non gold merchandise imports remains a cause for concern regarding the strength of domestic demand,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.

Exports in the April-September period fell 21.43% to $125.06 billion while imports declined 40.06% at $148.69 billion.

As per the data, only eight out of 31 major sectors of export declined last month.

Commodities that registered positive growth in exports in September include iron ore (109.52%), rice (92.44 %), oil meals (43.9 %), carpet (42.89 %) and pharmaceuticals (24.36 %).

Drugs and pharmaceuticals, rice and engineering goods witnessed the highest increase in export growth while gems and jewellery, man-made yarn/fabric/made ups and marine products saw sharp declines in outbound shipments.

The ministry said that in September, oil imports fell 35.92% to $5.82 billion while non-oil imports declined 14.41% to $24.48 billion.

Major commodity groups of import showing a decline in growth in September were silver (-93.92%), cotton raw and waste (-82.02%), newsprint, (-62.44%), gold (-52.85%) and transport equipment (47.08%).
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