February exports slide 5.66% in 15th straight monthly dip
Falling for the 15th month in a row, exports dipped 5.66 per cent in February to $20.73 billion due to contraction in shipments of petroleum and engineering goods amid tepid global demand. Trade deficit, however, fell to near five-year low of $6.54 billion during February as imports too slowed down. Imports declined 5.03 per cent to $27.28 billion last month, leading to a lower trade deficit of $6.54 billion compared to that of $6.74 billion in February 2015, ac.
The trade deficit - difference between imports and exports - is the lowest since March 2011 when it was $5.6 billion. The Commerce Ministry said the trend of falling exports is in tandem with that in other major world economies. “The growth in exports have fallen for the US (10.35 per cent), European Union (7.62 per cent) and China (1.67 per cent) for December 2015,” the ministry said. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said the drop in February was largely due to low export base in February 2015. “Going by the current trend, we would touch $260 billion in 2015-16, a drop of about $50 billion in exports as compared to 2014-15,” FIEO said in a statement. Overseas shipments of petroleum products shrank 28.27 per cent to $1.83 billion in February, while that of engineering goods declined by 11.22 per cent to 4.56 billion.
For April-February, cumulative exports declined by 16.73 per cent to $238.41 billion, as against $286.3 billion in April-February period of 2014-15. Imports too dipped by 14.74 per cent to $351.8 billion in the 11-month period, leaving a trade deficit of $113.38 billion.
The trade gap was $126.29 billion in April-February 2014-15. Oil imports last month were valued at $4.76 billion - 21.92 per cent lower than the same month last year. Non-oil imports too dipped by 0.47 per cent to $22.51 billion. billion.