India's exports jump 25.7% in September 2017

During the month imports of transport equipment considered an indicator of demand in the economy declined 27.6% gold imports fell by 5

India's merchandise exports rose sharply in September, belying fears of a slump due to disruption and working capital issues brought on by the introduction of the goods and services tax.

Goods trade deficit in September narrowed to a seven-month low of $8.98 billion with exports, that surged by 25.7% to $28.6 billion, outpacing imports that rose 18.1% to $37.6 billion, according to government data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday.

India's exports to China were up by 41 per cent, but accounted for only $11.92 billion of the two-way trade. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu in a tweet said, "India's growth story is back!"

There were apprehensions that exports would take a hit because of GST, which was rolled out on July 1, with refunds getting blocked.

Goods imports last month were $37.6 billion, a gain of 18.09 percent from the same period a year ago, data from the commerce and industry ministry showed.

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Exporters have complained that the imposition of integrated GST and delays in refund of input tax credits were hurting overseas shipments, prompting GST Council last week to continue two pre-GST era schemes that allow duty-free sourcing of materials for export production until March 2018. The increase in exports was driven by a broad-based performance, with 26 of 30 categories posting positive growth.

During the month, imports of transport equipment, considered an indicator of demand in the economy, declined 27.6%; gold imports fell by 5%. "In our view, build-up of substantial stocks over the last few months would ease the volume of gold imports during the festive and wedding season", said Nayar. Iron ore has in recent years been the biggest export, while cotton is another fast-growing export commodity.

In September, exports of engineering goods (44.2%), gems and jewellery (7.1%), petroleum products (39.7%), chemicals (46.1%), ready-made garments (29.4%), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (14.7%) grew at a brisk pace.

Imports too rose by 18.09 percent to Dollars 37.59 billion in September from USD 31.83 billion in the year-ago month, according to the data released by the commerce ministry.

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