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Exports rise 6% in September, trade deficit narrows

PTI     October 15, 2020

After contracting for six straight months, India's exports rose 5.99 per cent to $27.58 billion in September on account of growth in shipments of drugs and pharmaceuticals and readymade garments, as per the government data released on Thursday.

Exports stood at $26.02 billion in September 2019. The country's imports contracted 19.6 per cent to USD 30.31 billion in September. It was $37.69 billion in the same month last year.

The trade deficit narrowed to $2.72 billion, compared to a shortfall of $11.67 billion in the year ago-month.

Gold imports declined by nearly 53 per cent to $601.43 million in September.

"Exports in September 2020 were USD 27.58 billion, as compared to USD 26.02 billion in September 2019, exhibiting a positive growth of 5.99 per cent," the government said in a statement.

During the April-September 2020 period, exports declined by 16.66 per cent to $221.86 billion, while imports fell 35.43 per cent to $204.12 billion over the same period last year.

Major export commodities that have recorded positive growth during September include iron ore (109.65 per cent at $303.42 million), readymade garments (10.22 per cent at $1.19 billion), rice (93.86 per cent at $725.14 million), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (24.38 per cent at $2.24 billion).

However, outbound shipments of gems and jewellery declined 24.67 per cent and Mica, Coal and other ores, minerals including processed minerals slipped 6.71 per cent.

The data further revealed that non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in September stood at $21.27 billion, as compared to $19 billion in the same period previous fiscal, registering a growth of 11.94 per cent.

Oil imports dipped 35.88 per cent to $5.83 billion in September. During April-September, it declined 51.14 per cent to $31.86 billion.

"In this connection, it is mentioned that the global Brent price (USD/bbl) has decreased by 34.08 per cent in September 2020 vis-a-vis September 2019 as per data available from World Bank," the statement said.

Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade surplus for April-September is estimated at $17.74 billion as compared to the deficit of $49.91 billion in the year-ago period.

The estimated value of services exports for September is $16.34 billion and that of imports is 9.49 billion.

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