India's merchandise exports fell marginally by 0.3 per cent to $27.67 billion in February 2021 compared to $27.74 billion in the corresponding period last year, showed preliminary data from the Ministry of Commerce. This comes after a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 6.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent in exports in the previous two months. Imports, on the other hand, grew at a higher rate of 7 per cent, y-o-y against a 2 per cent rise in January.
Consequently, country's trade deficit stood higher at $12.9 billion during the month vis-a-vis $10.2 billion a year ago.
Exports during April-February'21 declined 12.3 per cent to $ 255.9 billion, while imports declined faster by 23.1 per cent, on a yearly basis to $340.8 billion. Trade deficit, therefore, stood at $85.0 billion during the period, the lowest in 13 years.
Petroleum exports contracted at the slowest pace in five months of 26.1 per cent, y-o-y in February and gems & jewellery contracted 11.2 per cent. The value of non-petroleum exports was $25.16 billion, registering a growth of 3.55 per cent. The value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports was $22.48 billion compared to $21.28 billion in February 2020. The cumulative value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports declined 3.6 per cent to $211.25 billion in the first 11 months of the fiscal.
Oil imports during the month declined by 16.6 per cent and showed a decline of 40.2 per cent on a year-to-date basis. Non-oil imports were estimated at $31.56 billion against $27.12 billion a year ago, recording a growth of 16.4 per cent. Non-oil imports in April-February 2020-21 were $268.78 billion, as compared to $322.74 billion, registering a decline of 16.73% during the same period of the last year. Non-oil, non-gold, silver and precious metals imports were posted a growth of 7.4 per cent to $23.85 billion in February 2021.