Export up 3.94% in July; trade deficit widens to United States dollars 11.44 bn

India's exports slow down to 3.94% trade deficit widens to $11.44 billion

The growth of imports, despite continued surge in the influx of gold, slowed in July to an annual 15.4 per cent from 19 per cent in the previous month, precipitating a narrower trade deficit of $11.45 billion.

During July 2017, major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of past year are Engineering Goods (15.16%), Petroleum Products (20.27%), Organic & Inorganic Chemicals (20.67%), Cotton Yarn/Fabs./made-ups, Handloom Products etc.( 5.39%) and Marine Products (30.53%).

A contraction in export of pharmaceuticals, gems & jewellery and ready-made garments hit the overall export growth in July. The growth in non-oil imports during the first four months of the fiscal was 30.46 per cent higher at $115.23 billion.

The fact that rising value of rupee is adversely impacting the bottomline of exporters is evident from the trade data which reveal that in rupee terms export growth has actually turned negative, said TS Bhasin, Chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council.

The country's overseas shipments aggregated at $22.54 billion in July 2017 against that of $21.68 billion in the same month of a year ago, showing a growth rate of 3.94 per cent.

Mr. Bhasin added that, "while engineering exports have still been growing at a respectable pace, it is due to pick up in base metals".

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Exporters blamed the slowdown on the appreciating value of rupee and the liquidity crunch faced by units following the implementation of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

Major commodity group of imports showing high growth in July were petroleum products (15.02%), electronic goods (22.5%), machinery, electrical and non-electrical (7.34%), pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (6.86%) and gold (95.05%).

Oil imports grew 15.02% in July to $7.84 billion, while non-oil imports rose 15.55% to $26.14 billion. The commerce ministry said global Brent prices rose 8.03% in July 2017 vis-à- vis July 2016 as per World Bank commodity price data.

Gold import increased by 95 per cent to United States dollars 2.10 billion in July against USD 1.07 billion in the same month a year ago.

The country's exports during the corresponding month of past year stood at $21.69 billion. Cumulative value of imports for the period April-July 2017-18 was $146256.71 million (Rs. 942740.00 crore) as against $113996.75 million (Rs. 763687.22 crore) registering a positive growth of 28.30% in Dollar terms and 23.45% in Rupee terms over the same period previous year.

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