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India’s trade deficit surges 675% on high imports; exports up 21%

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As per the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the trade deficit, which is the gap between imports and exports, works out to be $78.81 billion during the April-September period

India’s merchandise exports jumped 21.35 percent to $33.44 billion in September on a year-on-year basis, mainly due to better performance by key sectors like engineering goods and petroleum products, according to preliminary data released by the government on Friday.

In September, merchandise imports stood at $56.38 billion, an increase of 84.75 percent compared to the year-ago period. The same was at more than $30.52 billion in the same period a year ago. It is also up 49.58 percent over September 2019 when it had totaled $37.69 billion.

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The trade deficit in September was at $22.94 billion as gold imports jumped nearly 750 per cent to $5.11 billion.

As per the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the trade deficit, which is the gap between imports and exports, works out to be $78.81 billion during the April-September period.

“India’s merchandise exports in September 2021 was $33.44 billion, an increase of 21.35 percent over $27.56 billion in September 2020 and an increase of 28.51 per cent over $26.02 billion in September 2019,” it said.

Exports of engineering goods stood at $9.42 billion, up 36.7 percent over September 2020. The outward shipments of petroleum is estimated at $4.91 billion in September 2021, an increase of 39.32 per cent over the year-ago month.

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Outward shipments of ‘gems and jewelry’ were 19.71 percent higher at $3.23 billion. However, exports of ‘drugs and pharmaceuticals’ registered a decline of 8.47 percent.

goods trends in sept - chart
goods trends in sept - chart

The imports of ‘petroleum, crude and products’ soared nearly 200 per cent to $17.436 billion in September on an annual basis.

The data also showed that imports of ‘coal, coke, and briquettes’ were up 82.89 per cent at $2.18 billion in September 2021 over the same month last year.

The ministry said the value of non-petroleum exports in September was $28.53 billion, a growth of 18.72 per cent over the year-ago period and 26.32 per cent higher compared to September 2019.

The value of non-petroleum imports was at $38.95 billion in September, an increase of 57.73 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, and 36.14 per cent over September 2019.

According to the data, the value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewelry exports in September was at $25.29 billion, registering a growth of 18.59 per cent year-on-year.

The exports in the first half of the fiscal (April-September 2021) stood at $197.11 billion. This is an increase of 56.92 per cent over $125.61 billion in the year-ago period and 23.84 per cent compared to April-September 2019.

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