India’s goods exports declined for the fifth straight month in December 2019 by 1.8 per cent (year-on-year) to $ 27.36 bn as key items such as petroleum, engineering goods and gems and jewellery continued to suffer due to low global demand.
Imports were down 8.83 per cent in December at $38.61 billion as all major items, including gold, witnessed a decline, as per figures released by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Wednesday.
The sharper decline in imports helped bridge the trade deficit to $11.25 billion, compared to $14.49 billion in December 2018.
Total exports for the period April-December 2019-20 were at $239.29 billion, a fall of 1.96 per cent over the same period last year.
Total imports for the period April-December 2019-20 at $357.39 billion, was 8.97 per cent lower than imports in the comparable period.
FIEO President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that domestic issues including uncertainty over MEIS Scheme was a major cause of concern as exporters claim for over five months are still pending, which has completely wiped out their liquidity and was not allowing them to finalise new contracts.
“The problem of risky exporters have further compounded the liquidity problem as their GST and drawback claims have also been held up,” he said.