Exports grow 8.32%, imports by 33% in May; trade deficit widens
The Dollar Business Bureau
India’s exports grew by 8.32% to $24 billion in May, registering an upward growth in the last eight months. However, the trade deficit also surged to $13.84 billion a 30-month high, majorly on account of higher gold imports.
The exports growth during the month is mainly propelled by strong performance from marine products (44.58%), rice (27.08%), petroleum products (24.92%), organic & inorganic chemicals (15.34%), electronic goods (8.57%), engineering goods (8.25%), RMG of all textiles (8.06%) and gems & jewellery (6%).
In May 2016, the country’s exports were $22.1 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce data.
The cumulative value of exports for the period April-May 2017-18 was $48.6 billion witnessing a growth of 13.83% compared to $42.7 billion over the same period last year.
The country’s imports were also surged by 33% to $37.85 billion during May this year.
An almost three-fold increase in gold imports at $4.95 billion led to the widening of trade gap during the given month. It was $6.27 billion in May last year.
The previous high for trade deficit was in November 2014 when it reached $16.86 billion.
The main commodities of imports witnessing high growth during the month are pearls, precious & semi-precious stones (37.61%), electronic goods (34.16%), petroleum, crude & products (29.54%) and machinery, electrical & non-electrical (6.42%).
The cumulative value of imports was increased by 40.63% to $75.74 billion during April-May period of the current fiscal, leaving a trade deficit of $27 billion.
Further, the oil and non-oil imports in May grew by 29.54% to $7.69 billion and 34% to $30.1 billion, respectively.
Commenting on the data, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President, Ganesh Gupta, said, “Positive growth depicting the enormous strength and capability of India’s manufacturing.”
“With the implementation of upcoming GST and release of the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy due, the exporters are of the view that the timely support will help in giving further fillip to this growing trend. Challenges with regards to currency appreciation and protectionism should also be looked into by the government,” he said.
He also exuded confidence that the exports will continue to witness positive growth over the coming months.