In near two decades, India for the first time registered a merchandise trade surplus (last recorded in March 2002) of $0.79 billion in June, 2020 from a deficit of $3.1 billion in May 2020 as exports rebounded from coronavirus-triggered disruptions at a faster pace than imports. India last posted a merchandise trade surplus of $10 million in January 2002.
Merchandise exports in June 2020 were $21.91 billion, as compared to $25.01 billion in June 2019, exhibiting a negative growth of 12.41 per cent. In rupee terms, exports were Rs 1,65,898.85 crore in June 2020, as compared to Rs 1,73,682.55 crore in June 2019, registering a negative growth of 4.48 per cent. The estimated value of services export for June 2020 is $16.48 billion.
Imports in June 2020 were $21.11 billion (Rs 1,59,892.42 crore), which was 47.59 per cent lower in dollar terms and 42.85 per cent lower in rupee terms over imports of $40.29 billion (Rs 2,79,771.07 crore) in June 2019. The estimated value of service import for June 2020 is $9.64 billion.
Major commodity groups which have recorded positive growth during June 2020 vis--vis June 2019 are Iron Ore (63.11 per cent), Oil seeds (50.48 per cent), Rice (32.72 per cent), Oil meals (27.36 per cent), Spices (22.92 per cent), Other cereals (19.35 per cent), Organic & inorganic chemicals (19.06 per cent), Cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items (13.8 per cent), Fruits & vegetables (11.01 per cent), Drugs & pharmaceuticals (9.89 per cent), Tobacco (3.56 per cent) and Coffee (2.58 per cent).
Imported products showing major negative growth in June 2020 over the corresponding month of last year were gold, coal, petroleum and crude, machinery (electrical and non electrical items) and electronic goods.
Gold imports have been on a downward trajectory since December 2019. Gold imports stood at $608.69 million in June 2020, a dip of 77.42 per cent, as compared to imports of $2,695 million in June 2019.
Imports of petroleum products have seen a decline of 55.29 per cent in June 2020 compared to imports in June 2019. The reduced import bill for crude has been a big factor in bringing India's trade in a surplus position. Global Brent price ($/bbl) decreased by 36.92 per cent in June 2020 vis--vis June 2019, as per World Bank data.
Story: Mudit Kapoor
Design: Pragati Srivastava