Exports rise, deficit at 5-month low

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Despite the Omicron scare that merchandise exports grew 25.3% in January to $34.5 billion.

In the first ten months of this fiscal that exports hit $336 billion and surpassing the previous annual record of $330 billion that exporters took advantage of an industrial resurgence in advanced economies.

The gap between India’s exports, imports of goods narrowed to a five-month low in January that was driven by a sharp drop in imports of oil and gold.

Outbound shipments remained robust and albeit growing at the slowest pace in four months official data showed.

India’s services exports grew by 55% to $26.91 billion in January while imports grew by 60.3% to $15.83 billion and leaving a trade surplus of $11.07 billion.

A double-digit decline in gold imports, a slowdown in oil imports amid the third covid wave largely drove the narrowing trade deficit that while non-oil and non-gold imports posted a marginal dip in value compared with the previous month.

The rising economic uncertainty after tensions over Ukraine could negatively impact India’s trade balance going forward with international oil, commodity prices likely to remain elevated, and supply-side bottlenecks set to hurt exports that explained the economists.

Exports grew 25.28% from the year-ago period to touch $34.5 billion compared with 38.9% growth in December and data released by the ministry of commerce and industry showed.

Outbound shipments were led by sharp growth in petroleum products, cotton yarn, engineering goods, chemicals, textiles, engineering, electronic goods, etc.

Imports grew at the slowest pace in 11 months at 23.94% in January also their value touched the lowest in five months at $51.93 billion and left the smallest trade deficit in five months at $17.42 billion.

The trade deficit is 20.23% wider than the levels seen in the corresponding month of last year. Merchandise exports touched $335.88 billion in the April to January period that appears on course to achieving the $400 billion export target for the current fiscal year.

Non-oil non-gems and jewelry imports signify industrial activity in the economy and stood at $34.62 billion in January.

Lower than $35.47 billion in the previous month. Gold imports posted a 40.52% decline during the month at $2.4 billion versus $4 billion in the corresponding month last year and $4.7 billion in December.

Petroleum, crude oil imports slowed in January and grew 26.9% to $11.9 billion over the year compared to $16.16 billion in December.

Brent crude has risen to nearly $94 per barrel on the Russia-Ukraine tension that may put pressure on India’s oil import bill.

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