At $19.1 billion, trade deficit widens to 4-month high

NEW DELHI: India’s trade deficit widened to a four-month high of $19.1 billion in April, as goods exports rose just over 1% to $35 billion, while imports increased over 10% to $54.1 billion.
Gold imports trebled to $3.1 billion in April, from $1 billion a year ago, as prices hovered near record highs. Higher crude prices pushed up India’s oil imports by over 20% to $16.5 billion.Electronics, the second biggest component of India’s import bill, too went up 10% to top $7 billion. Fourteen of the 30 selected commodities, including coal, precious and semi-precious stones and iron and steel, however, registered a decline.

trade deficit widens to 4month high.

On export front, 13 of 30 key sectors grew, with electronic goods being top performer as exports logged a near-26% growth to $2.7 billion. Drugs and pharma (7.4% growth to $2.4 billion) and chemicals (16.8% rise to $2.5 billion) were other major gainers. Among the laggards were engineering goods, the largest item in India’s export basket, with the value of shipments declining 3.2% to $8.7 billion.
Price boost meant that petrol and diesel exports ended the month 3% higher at $6.6 billion. Tepid demand in developed markets resulted in export of gems and jewellery falling 6.9% to $2.3 billion. Commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal said the figures show that new fiscal started on a good note and hoped that it would continue. He also said total exports of goods and services in 2023-24 has been revised to $778.2 billion, which is record. Merchandise exports in the last fiscal aggregated at $437.1 billion, while services exports stood at $341.1 billion.


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