With contraction in all but ten of the 30 major commodities, India’s merchandise exports have fallen a steep 17.5 per cent annually to $21.35 billion in October, sustaining the shipments in negative territory for a long 11 months, the government data showed on Monday.
With subdued prices of inputs — industrial and agricultural — have hit headline export figures, exporters have been seeking immediate intervention by the government to salvage the situation.
The trade deficit marginally narrowed to $9.77 billion in the month from $10.48 billion in September, due to a deeper decline in imports, the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed. Imports fell 21.15 per cent from a year earlier to $31.12 billion.
About 20 of the 30 commodities witnessed a decline during October, while 19 of the 30 import sectors saw a fall during the month. October gold imports showed a sharp decline of 59.5 per cent at $1.70 billion, indicating that demand remained subdued even in the festival season despite fall in prices.
The fall in exports was led by iron ore which declined by 57 per cent to $2.46 billion, followed by engineering goods that fell 11.65 per cent to $4.5 billion a year earlier. Among the other major sectors, the country exported 12.84 per cent less gems and jewelery for $3.5 billion during the past month, while exports of chemicals declined 8.2per cent to $1 billion, the data showed.
India’s oil imports fell 45 per cent during October to $6.8 billion, while its gold imports declined 59.5per cent to $1.7 billion. Imports of chemicals also fell 20.5 per cent to $1.3 billion, and imports of iron and steel fell 4 per cent to $1.3 billion, according to data.
The non-oil imports during the month was lower by 9.9 per cent at $24.2 billion, the data showed. FE