India's exports grow at 17.4% last month; imports surge 21.7%

Trade deficit rises 35% year-on-year in Feb 2017.

The Dollar Business Bureau

India's exports grew consecutively for the 6th month, as the month of February 2017 posted a 17.48% year on year growth in exports. Total exports for the month stood at $24.5 billion, when compared to $20.8 billion in January 2016. For the same month, trade deficit widened year on year from $6.5 billion in 2016 to $8.8 billion in 2017.

During April-February 2016-17, exports registered a 2.5% growth, grossing $245 billion as against $239 billion in the same period last year.

Meanwhile imports also surged by 21.7% year-on-year. As against $27.4 billion in February 2016, total imports in the month of February 2017 stood at $33.4 billion. For the April-February period, imports declined from $353 billion in 2015-16 to $340 billion in the current fiscal, denoting a negative growth of 3.6%.

The hike in imports may be attributed to the rising global oil prices, as oil imports showed a 60% increase in dollar terms, from $4.8 billion in Feb 2016 to $7.6 billion in Feb 2017. In terms of the first 11 months of the fiscal, there was a 1.76% decline in value of oil imports, from $78.1 billion during April-February 2015-16 to $76.7 billion for the same period in 2016-17.

Non-oil imports grew 13.6% in February 2017 over February 2016, from $22.6 billion to $25.7 billion. During the months of April-February, they declined by 4.2% from $275 billion to $264 billion.

Overall trade deficit estimation (goods and services) for April-February period shows 24% reduction, from $55 billion in 2015-16 to $41.8 billion in 2016-17. For the period of Apr-Jan, the estimated net service exports stood at $53.4 billion, lower than $59.2 billion recorded for the same period in 2015-16.

For merchandise alone, the estimated trade deficit of $95.2 billion in the current April-February period is 16.65% lower than last year's deficit of $114.3 billion in the same period.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 16, 2017 12:00 IST