Merchandise exports grew just 0.64 per cent in April, the slowest since December 2018, while imports inched up 4.48 per cent, inflating trade deficit to a five-month peak of $15.33 billion. Excluding petroleum and gems & jewellery, exports contracted 1.3 per cent in April and non-oil and non-gold imports shrank 2.2 per cent.
Official data released Wednesday showed, Imports increased by 4.48 per cent, the highest growth in the last six months as crude oil and gold shipments shot up in the month.
Merchandise exports stood at $26 billion in April while imports at $41.4 billion, leading to a trade gap of $15.33 billion, the widest deficit since November 2018, the trade data showed.
The country’s merchandise exports were down because of the negative growth in key sectors such as engineering, gems and jewellery, leather, carpet, plastic, marine products, rice and coffee during the month under review.
Previously, exports had recorded a low growth rate of 0.34 per cent in December 2018. Oil imports grew by 9.26 per cent to $11.38 billion and non-oil imports expanded by 2.78 per cent.
Gold imports rose by 54 per cent to $3.97 billion in April. Certain exports sectors which recorded positive growth include petroleum, handicrafts, ready-made garments, and pharmaceuticals.
— With inputs from FE & PTI