Millennium Post

Exports up 0.8% in Nov; trade deficit widens to $16.6 billion

New Delhi: India's exports grew by a meagre 0.80 per cent to $26.5 billion in November, mainly due to a high base effect, even as the trade deficit widened to $16.67 billion, according to commerce ministry data.

Imports rose by 4.31 per cent to $43.17 billion during the month.

The trade deficit stood at $15.1 billion in November 2017. It was $17.13 billion in October this year.

The growth rate of imports in November, however, was the lowest since December 2016, when the inbound shipments grew by only 0.46 per cent.

The deficit widened despite a decline of 15.6 per cent in gold imports at $2.75 billion during the month under review.

Sectors like engineering, gems and jewellery, cotton/ yarn/fabrics, man-made yarn/fabrics, leather, iron ore, marine products, cashew and rice recorded negative export growth in November.

On the other hand, pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, carpet, petroleum and plastic showed positive growth.

Exporters attributed the marginal export growth in November to high base effect, as the foreign shipments in the comparable month of the previous fiscal were quite high at $26.29 billion.

Federation of India Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Gupta demanded "urgent and immediate support" to boost exports.

He asked the government to augment the flow of credit and interest subsidy for exports sector.

Oil imports in November jumped by 41.31 per cent to $13.49 billion. However, the non-oil imports dipped by 6.79 per cent to $29.68 billion.

During April-November this fiscal, exports rose by 11.58 per cent to $217.52 billion, while imports recorded a growth of 14.71 per cent to $345.64 billion.

Trade deficit during the period widened to $128.13 billion as against $106.37 billion during April-November 2017-18.

Oil imports during April-November this fiscal increased by 49.14 per cent to $97.43 billion. Non-oil imports grew by 5.18 per cent to $248.21 billion during the period.

Meanwhile, RBI data showed that India's services exports rose by 19 per cent to $16.82 billion in October. The services imports also went up to $10.10 billion as against $8.7 billion in October 2017.

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