Trade deficit falls $14.75 bn as exports rise 5.37% in Jan

New Delhi: The country's exports grew 5.37 per cent year-on-year to $27.24 billion in January 2021, mainly driven by healthy growth in pharma and engineering sectors, according to provisional data of the commerce ministry.

Trade deficit during the month narrowed to $14.75 billion from $15.3 billion in January 2020. It was $15.44 billion in December 2020.

Imports in January 2021 rose 2 per cent to $42 billion.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet said, "Aatmanirbhar Bharat Takes Global Stage: Merchandise exports increased to $27.24 billion in January, recording a year on year growth of 5.37 per cent. With Government incentives to export-driven industries, Make in India is catering to the world in the new year".

Exports of pharmaceuticals and engineering grew 16.4 per cent ($293 million), and about 19 per cent ($1.16 billion), respectively, the data showed.

The other sectors which recorded healthy growth includes oil meals (253 per cent), Iron ore (108.66 per cent), tobacco (26.18 per cent), rice (25.86 per cent), fruits and vegetables (24 per cent), carpet (23.69 per cent), handicrafts (21.92 per cent), spices (20.35 per cent), ceramic products and glassware (19 per cent), tea (13.35 per cent), cashew (11.82 per cent), plastic (10.42 per cent), and chemicals (2.54 per cent).

Export sectors which recorded negative growth include petroleum products (-37.34 per cent), ready-made garments of all textiles (- 10.73 per cent), and leather (- 18.6 per cent). In December 2020 also, the country's merchandise exports recorded a growth of 0.14 per cent.

Imports of gold jumped by about 155 per cent to $2.45 billion in January this year. Imports of other segments which recorded growth are pulses, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, cotton raw and waste, vegetable oil, chemicals, and machine tools.

However, cumulatively exports during April-January 2020-21 contracted by 13.66 per cent to $228.04 billion as against $264.13 billion during the same period last year, the data showed.

Similarly, imports too dipped by about 26 per cent to $300.26 billion during April-January this fiscal. "In January 2021, oil imports were $9.40 billion, as compared to $13.01 billion in January 2020, a decline by 27.72 per cent.

Oil imports in April-January 2020-21 were $63.09 billion, as compared to $109.72 billion in April-January 2019-20, showing a decline of 42.48 per cent," it said.

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