March exports crash by 6-yr high of 21%
Exports have been on downward spiral since December last year. The previous biggest decline in export was in July 2009, when it dipped by 28.4 per cent. Falling exports and an increase in gold imports have widened the trade deficit to four-month high of $11.79 billion in March.
Gold imports in March almost doubled to $4.98 billion. Falling exports of petroleum products (59.5 per cent), gems and jewellery (8.36 per cent), chemicals (5.36 per cent) and engineering goods (2.5 per cent) have led to the sharp contraction in March. These sectors contribute about 70 per cent to the country’s total exports. In March, exports decreased to $23.95 billion compared with $30.34 billion in the a year-ago period, as per the Commerce Ministry’s data.
Compared with the previous fiscal, exports dipped by 1.23 per cent in 2014-15. The government had fixed the target at $340 billion for 2014-15. In 2013-14 too, total merchandise shipments stood at $314.4 billion, missing the annual target of $325 billion. Imports contracted by 13.44 per cent to $35.74 billion in March. During 2014-15, imports dipped by 0.59 per cent to $447.5 billion in 2014-15, leaving a trade deficit of $137 billion.
Gold imports up 94% to $4.98 bn
Gold imports surged by 93.86 per cent year-on-year to $4.98 billion in March due to declining prices and easing of restrictions by the RBI.
In February, imports grew by 48.78 per cent to $1.98 billion.