Exports contracted for the tenth month in a row, tumbling around 25 per cent in September, pulled down by abysmal performance of export of engineering products, petroleum products, gems and jewellery amid slowdown in the global demand.
According to the data released by the commerce and industry ministry, India’s merchandise exports dipped 24.33 per cent in September to $21.84 billion while the imports shrank 25.42 per cent to $32.32 billion year-on-year, resulting in a trade deficit of $10.47 billion. The trade deficit stood at $14.47 billion in the corresponding month in last financial year. Exports in September 2014 were valued at $28.86 billion.
Further, cumulative exports during the first half of 2015-16 also contracted by 17.36 per cent to stand at $132.93 billion as compared to $161.39 billion during the same period last fiscal.
Expressing concerns over the falling exports, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo) said that the development will put enormous pressure in realising even the export target achieved in last fiscal.
Seeking immediate measures from the government, SC Ralhan, president, Fieo, said, “The reduction in expected credit rates following reduction in key rates by RBI and encouraging IIP and manufacturing data for the month of August, is expected to show better exports result in October, 2015 as generally there is two-three months lead time between manufacturing and exports.”
Ralhan requested for immediate reintroduction of interest subvention, expansion of merchandise exports from India (MEIS) scheme benefits and reduction of transaction cost by reducing procedural complexities and paper work.
According to the data, as against seven sectors of 30 which were in positive in August, only six were positive during September. Sectors including tea, coffee, ceramic products and glassware and gems and jewellery, which were positive in August, have turned negative in September, Fieo said.
“However, tobacco, oil meals and cereal preparations have been added to the new list of products showing positive growth besides drugs and pharma, jute manufacturing including floor coverings and handicrafts,” it said.
With regards to exports, petroleum products export shrank 60.35 per cent to $2.44 billion while that of iron ore declined by 40.37 per cent to $9.47 million. Engineering products witnessed a sharp decline of 22.21 per cent during the month to stand at $5.02 billion in September from $6.5 billion in the year ago period.
The data showed that trade deficit during April-September narrowed to $67.99 billion as against $72.69 billion in the same period last fiscal. Oil import during the month stood at $6.62 billion, down 54.53 per cent year-on–year while oil imports during the six month period was $48.128 billion, down 41.58 per cent.
Gold imports declined by 45.62 per cent in September to $2 billion from $3.78 billion in the same month last fiscal.