Exports jump to $30.21 bn in April; trade deficit at $15.24 bn

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India’s exports in April jumped nearly three-fold to USD 30.21 billion on account of healthy growth in key sectors including engineering, gems and jewellery, and petroleum products, whilst the deficit widened to USD 15.24 billion, consistent with the commerce ministry’s preliminary data released on Sunday.

The country’s merchandise exports were to the tune of USD 10.17 billion in April 2020. deficit therein month was USD 6.92 billion.

Imports too rose by over three-fold to USD 45.45 billion last month as against USD 17.09 billion in April 2020.

“India’s merchandise exports in April 2021 were USD 30.21 billion, a rise of 197.03 per cent over USD 10.17 billion in April 2020 and a rise of 16.03 per cent over USD 26.04 billion in April 2019,” the ministry said during a statement.

In percentage terms, the expansion rate in exports and imports is at a record high, mainly thanks to base-effect.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown last year, exports shrank by a record 60.28 per cent in April 2020. In March this year, exports grew by 60.29 per cent to USD 34.45 billion.

In April 2021, oil imports stood at USD 10.8 billion as compared to USD 4.65 billion within the corresponding month last year.
Major export commodities which have recorded positive growth in April include gems and jewellery, jute, pharmaceuticals, carpet, handicrafts, leather, electronic goods, oil meals, cashew, engineering, petroleum products, marine products and chemicals.

Exports of engineering, gems and jewellery, and petroleum products rose multifold to USD 5.55 billion, USD 3.3 billion, and USD 2.12 billion, respectively in April.

Gold imports surged to USD 6.12 billion during the month under review as against USD 2.83 million in April 2020.

Major commodity groups important showing positive growth in April 2021 over the corresponding month of last year include electronic goods, transport equipment, minerals, machinery, textile yarn fabric, oil and iron, and steel.

Commenting on the numbers, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that the impressive growth reflects that the order booking position of exporters is the extremely good and gradual improvement of the situation within the country will push growth further.

“Such a growth performance in exports during the primary month of 2021-22 augurs well for the world,” he said adding the necessity of the hour is to soon notify the RoDTEP (remission of duties and taxes on export products) rates to get rid of uncertainty from the minds of the trade and industry, thereby helping in further forging new contracts with the foreign buyers. PTI

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