Exports jump to USD 30.21 bn in Apr, trade deficit widens

New Delhi, May 02 (PTI): India’s exports in April jumped nearly three-folds to USD 30.21 billion on account of healthy growth in key sectors including engineering, gems and jewellery, and petroleum products, even as trade deficit widened to USD 15.24 billion, according to 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. Trade deficit in that month was USD 6.92 billion. Imports too rose by over three-folds 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, an increase of 197.03 per cent over USD 10.17 billion in April 2020 and an increase of 16.03 per cent over USD 26.04 billion in April 2019,” the ministry said in a statement. In percentage terms, the growth rate in exports and imports are at record high, mainly due 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 in 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 of import showing positive growth in April 2021 over the corresponding month of last year include electronic goods, transport equipment, minerals, machinery, textile yarn fabric, vegetable 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 order booking position of exporters is extremely good and gradual improvement of situation in the country will push growth further.
“Such a growth performance in exports during the first month of 2021-22 augurs well for the sector,” he said adding the need of the hour is to soon notify the RoDTEP (remission of duties and taxes on export products) rates to remove uncertainty from the minds of the trade and industry, thereby helping in further forging new contracts with the foreign buyers.

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