Updated: August 14, 2021 1:11:35 am
Merchandise exports grew 49.9 per cent year-on-year to a record $35.4 billion in July on the back of rise in shipments of petroleum products, gems and jewellery, as per government data on Friday. An even faster 63 per cent year-on-year growth in imports to $46.4 billion led to the trade deficit widening to $11 billion from $5 billion in July 2020. In June, the trade deficit was at $9.4 billion.
In the first four months of this fiscal, exports grew to $130.8 billion, from $75 billion in July 2020 and $107.2 billion in July 2019.
“The $130.8 billion cumulative exports in the first four months, and the export level of $7.4 billion in the first week of August 2021 signifies the ability of India to reach the $400-billion target easily,” said Prahalathan Iyer, chief general manager (research and analysis), Exim Bank. Key non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery items that saw a rise in exports in July included textiles, apparel, electronic and engineering goods.
India’s crude oil imports grew 97.5 per cent year-on-year due to higher demand for petroleum products compared to the year-ago period and the 73.8 per cent rise in crude oil prices compared to the year-ago period. Aditi Nayar, chief economist, Icra Ratings, said the current account deficit was likely to widen as domestic demand recovers. “In our view, the current account will record a surplus of $2-3 billion in Q1 FY2022, before reverting to a deficit of $3-5 billion in the ongoing quarter.”
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