India’s exports, imports contract for 5th straight month; trade deficit narrows

India’s exports contracted for the fifth straight month in July, declining by 10.21 per cent to $26.33 billion due to drop in shipments of petroleum, gems and jewellery, leather, textiles, electronic goods, and spices. In rupee terms, exports stood at Rs 1,77,305.79 crore in July 2020, as compared to Rs 1,81,190.34 crore in July 2019, registering a negative growth of 2.14 per cent, as per the data released by the Commerce and Indian Ministry on Friday.

In a similar trend, imports too contracted by 28.40 per cent to $28.47 billion in July from $39.76 billion in the same month last year. In terms of rupee, imports were down 21.96 per cent YoY to Rs Rs 2,13,499.56 crore. The outward shipments, however, recovered from a sharp fall of 60.28 per cent in April and 36.47 per cent in May.

Gold imports grew by 4.17 per cent to $1.8 billion after reporting decline in eight months. The previous growth in gold imports was recorded in November 2019.

Meanwhile, oil imports declined by 31.97 per cent to $6.53 billion in the month under review. Oil imports in April-July 2020-21 were $19.61 billion which was 55.88 per cent lower compared to $44.45 billion over the same period last year. It is notable that the global Brent price ($ per barrel) has decreased by 33.11 per cent in July 2020 vis-a-vis July 2019, as per data available from the World Bank.

During the April-July period, India’s overall exports (merchandise and services combined) stood at $141.82 billion, reporting a negative growth of 21.99 per cent over the same period last year. Overall imports were down 40.66 per cent YoY to $127.76 billion.