India's merchandise exports rose for the second consecutive month in January, while the trade deficit narrowed during the same period, showing signs of revival in the economic activity. India's merchandise exports rose 5.37 per cent on a year-on-year basis to $27.24 billion in January 2021, from $25.85 billion in the same period last year. This was driven by growth in pharmaceuticals, iron ore and engineering sectors.
However, cumulative exports during April-January 2020-21 exhibited a negative growth of 13.66 per cent. It stood at $228.04 billion as compared to $264.13 billion during the same period last year, as per the data released by Ministry of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday.
Merchandise imports also remained positive for the second straight month, growing by 2.05 per cent to $41.99 billion as against $41.15 billion in January 2020. After a gap of nine months, imports recorded a positive growth of 7.6 per cent at $42.6 billion in December. For April-January period of the current fiscal, imports fell by 25.92 per cent to $300.26 billion, as compared to $405.33 billion during the same period last year.
With this, India turned net importer in January 2021, with a trade deficit of $14.75 billion. Trade deficit declined by 3.57 per cent from $15.30 billion in January 2020.
Top five commodity groups of export, which recorded positive growth during January 2021 vis-a-vis January 2020, were other cereals (313.88 per cent), oil meals (253.06 per cent), iron ore (108.66 per cent), cereal preparations and miscellaneous processed item (43.62 per cent), and jute manufacturing including floor covering (27.64 per cent).
Meanwhile, the top 5 commodity groups of import which declined in January 2021 vis-a-vis January 2020 were silver (-95.77 per cent), newsprint (-80.81 per cent), project good (-62.16 per cent), leather & leather products (-37.73 per cent), and petroleum, crude & products (-27.72 per cent).