India’s merchandise exports dropped over 6 per cent to $26.13 billion in August from the same month in 2018 due to a drop in shipments of petroleum, gems and jewellery, engineering goods, textile, chemicals and rice, showed data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday. In August 2018, the country had exported goods worth $27.81 billion.
India’s goods trade deficit for August narrowed nearly 25 per cent to $13.45 billion from $17.92 billion in the same period last year. The country’s merchandise imports also dropped 13.45 per cent to $39.58 billion last month from $45.73 billion in August 2018.
Exports of meat, dairy and poultry products saw the highest fall, dropping nearly 28 per cent to $293.28 billion from $407.24 billion in the year-ago period.
Shipments of petroleum products, now $3.32 billion, declined 10.73 per cent from $3.71 billion, while plastic and linoleum products saw 16.94 per cent decrease in exports to $645.29 million in August from $776.91 million in the same month last year.
Engineering goods exports declined 9.35 per cent to $6.55 billion from $7.23 billion in August last year, while organic chemicals, too experienced an over 9 per cent drop in shipments last month. Gems and jewellery shipments dropped 3.54 per cent to $3.21 billion from $3.33 billion, while drugs and pharmaceuticals exports declined 0.19 per cent to $1.68 billion last month.
Exports of products like cotton yarn, fabrics and hand loom products dropped 22.41 per cent to $832.13 million from around $1.07 billion, while man-made yarn and fabrics dropped around 13.56 per cent to $397.22 million from $459.55 million. Rice exports also declined 23.95 per cent to $415.12 million last month from $545.85 million in August 2018.
However, exports of products like iron ore, electronic goods, spices, marine products and mica, coal and other ores and minerals grew in August, with iron ore shipments experiencing the largest growth — over 350 per cent — to $282.08 million from $61.77 million. Electronic goods exports grew 45.89 per cent to $1.02 billion from $699.13 million.
India is estimated to have reduced its overall merchandise and services trade deficit by around 20 per cent to $40.89 billion between April and August 2019, compared to $51.13 billion during the same period in 2018.
“Such a contraction in exports is a reflection of uncertainties, sluggish global demand and rising tariff war,” said Federation of Indian Export Organisations president Sharad Kumar Saraf. “The softening of crude, steel and other commodities prices also pulled down exports,” he said.