India's trade deficit grows to $15.33 billion, exports improve only a little in April

India's exports rose marginally by 0.64 per cent in April to $26 billion while imports increased by 4.5 per cent to 41.4 billion compared to the year-ago month

Gold imports rose by 54 per cent during the month under review. Gold imports rose by 54 per cent during the month under review.

India's trade deficit widened to a five-month high in April due to rise in crude oil imports coupled with muted growth in export amid rising concerns over US-China trade war, government data showed on Wednesday.

The trade deficit, a gap between exports and imports, expanded to $15.33 billion in April 2019 as compared to $13.72 billion in April 2018 and $10.89 billion in last month, according to data release from the Ministry of Commerce.

Merchandise exports inched up by 0.64 per cent year-on-year to $26.07 billion in April, while imports rose by 4.48 per cent to $41.4 billion compared to the same month last year.

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"In April 2019, major commodity groups of export showing positive growth, includes petroleum products (30.75%), electronic goods (27.78%), organic and inorganic chemical (15.06%), RMG of all textiles (4.42%) and drugs and pharmaceuticals (4.03%)," the trade ministry data showed.

Much of the rise in imports came from crude purchases, which rose by 9.26 per cent to $11.38 billion. In April, Brent crude price was $71.23 per barrel as compared to $72.11 per barrel in the same month last year. Non-oil imports increased by 2.78 per cent to $30.02 billion in April, compared to $29.21 billion in April last year, data showed.

Meanwhile, gold imports spiked by 54 per cent to $3.97 billion in April. The rise in imports by the world's second-biggest consumer of the precious metal was driven by strong demand during wedding season along with fall in prices which prompted purchases.

Non-petroleum and non gems and jewellery exports stood at $19.54 billion, as compared to $19.80 billion in April 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of 1.31 per cent.

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Edited by Chitranjan Kumar