India's Jan merchandise exports fall, trade deficit widens (Lead)
Friday - February 14, 2020 10:25 pm , Category : BUSINESS
New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) Sluggish global and local economic conditions continued to dent India's external merchandise trade, as both exports and imports inched lower in January.The data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed on Friday that India's exports fell by 1.66 per cent in January on a year-on-year basis to $25.97 billion from $26.41 billion reported for the corresponding period of the previous year.Similarly, on a sequential basis, exports were lower than $27.36 billion worth of merchandise that were shipped out in December. "Cumulative value of exports for April-January 2019-20 was $265.26 billion as against $270.49 billion during April-January 2018-19, registering a negative growth of (-) 1.93 per cent in dollar terms," the ministry said in a statement. "Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in January 2020 were $19.79 billion, as compared to $19.94 billion in January 2019, exhibiting a negative growth of (-) 0.78 per cent," it added.As per the data, imports declined by 0.75 per cent to $41.14 billion in January from $41.46 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2019."Cumulative value of imports for the period April-January 2019-20 was $398.53 billion, as against $433.77 billion during April-January 2018-19, registering a negative growth of (-)8.12 per cent in dollar terms. Oil imports in January 2020 were $12.97 billion, which was 15.27 per cent higher in dollar terms, compared to $11.25 billion in January 2019," the statement said. However, non-oil imports in January 2020 were estimated at $28.17 billion, which was 6.72 per cent lower in dollar terms, compared to $30.20 billion reported for the corresponding month of the previous year."Non-oil and non-gold imports were $26.59 billion in January 2020, recording a negative growth of (-)4.66 per cent, as compared to non-oil and non-gold imports of $27.89 billion in January 2019," the statement said. Consequently, the trade deficit widened to (-)$15.17 billion from (-)$15.05 billion reported in January 2019.The trade deficit in December 2019 had narrowed to $11.25 billion as against the deficit of $14.49 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.