Monday 17 January 2022
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Merchandise exports up 26% since 2020; trade deficit $ 23 bn

Merchandise exports of the country in November rose to $ 29.88 billion from $ 23.62 billion in the same period of 2020, up 26.49%, on account of healthy growth in sectors such as engineering, petroleum, chemicals and marine products, the government data showed today.

These exports stood at $ 23.62 billion in November 2020.

The figures are, however, the lowest in several quarters. The merchandise exports slipped below the $ 30-billion mark for the first time in eight months, even as imports rose sharply, taking the monthly to a fresh high.

“India’s merchandise exports in April-November 2021 was $ 262.46 billion, an increase of 50.71% over $ 174.15 billion in April-November 2020 and an increase of 24.29% over $ 211.17 billion in April-November 2019,” the ministry said.

Imports in November were at $ 53.15 billion, an increase of 57.18% over $ 33.81 billion in the same month of 2020, leaving a of $ 23.27 billion.

Imports in April-November this year grew by 75.39% to $ 384.44 billion.

The country posted a record merchandise of $ 23.27 billion this month compared with $ 10.19 billion a year ago.

Imports outpaced exports, jumping 38% from pre-COVID levels compared with the 16% increase in exports, though they moderated slightly month-on-month to $ 53.1 billion from $ 55.4 billion in October.

The widened to a fresh record of $ 23.27 billion, from $ 19.9 billion in the previous month. This is almost 83% higher than the November 2019 levels. The previous highest monthly trade deficit of $ 22.6 billion was recorded in September.

The from April to November 2021 is now close to $ 122 billion, 7.5% over the same period in FY20. The sharp 16% sequential slide in exports led to a flare-up in the trade deficit to a record high, and the three months since September have now recorded a deficit of $ 65 billion, which is worrying, said ICRA chief economist Aditi Nayar. Imports, she pointed out, had exceeded $ 50 billion in each of these months.

“Holidays in the festive season have substantially dented the momentum in merchandise exports in November, bringing them down to the lowest level of FY22. We are cautiously optimistic that export momentum will revive, although the uncertainty engendered by the Omicron variant poses a concern regarding the immediate outlook,” she said.

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