India’s June merchandise exports down 9.71%, imports fall 9.07%

Container Terminus of Container Corporation of India.

New Delhi, ┬áIndia’s merchandise exports in June declined 9.71 per cent, on a year-on-year basis, to $25.01 billion from $27.70 billion reported for the corresponding month of last year, official data showed on Monday.

As per the data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in June 2019 were $19.15 billion from $20.13 billion in June 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of 4.86 per cent.

“Cumulative value of exports for the period April-June 2019-20 was $81.08 billion as against $82.47 billion during the period April-June 2018-19, registering a negative growth of 1.69 per cent in dollar terms,” the ministry said.

On the other hand, imports declined by 9.06 per cent to $40.29 billion in June from $44.30 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2018.

Oil imports in June were $11.03 billion, which was 13.33 per cent lower, compared to $12.73 billion in June 2018.

“Non-oil imports in June 2019 were estimated at $29.26 billion which was 7.34 per cent lower in dollar terms, compared to $31.58 billion in June 2018,” the ministry said.

“Non-oil and non-gold imports were $26.57 billion in June 2019, recording a negative growth of 9 per cent, as compared to non-oil and non-gold imports of $29.19 billion in June 2018.”

However, the trade deficit during the month under review narrowed to $15.28 billion as against the deficit of $16.60 billion in June 2018.

“Sharp drop in exports for June calls for an immediate intervention by government to help exporters in terms of competitiveness and dealing with trade barriers in world trade,” said EEPC (Engineering Export Promotion Council) India Chairman Ravi Sehgal.

Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA, said: “Although the contraction in merchandise imports and exports in June 2019 came as a surprise, the merchandise trade deficit nevertheless printed largely in line with expectations. Lower crude oil prices explain a portion of the YoY contraction in the absolute level of exports and imports, as well as in the size of the merchandise trade deficit to $15.3 billion in June 2019 from $16.6 billion in June 2018.”

“Nevertheless, the YoY contraction in imports of items such as transport equipment, machinery and fertilisers should be viewed with caution, as they suggest that the underlying demand dynamics are weak.”