The country’s exports grew 5.37 percent year-on-year to USD 27.24 billion in January 2021, mainly driven by healthy growth in pharma and engineering sectors, according to provisional data of the commerce ministry. The trade deficit during the month narrowed to USD 14.75 billion from USD 15.3 billion in January 2020. It was USD 15.44 billion in December 2020.
Imports in January 2021 rose 2 percent to USD 42 billion. Exports of pharmaceuticals and engineering grew 16.4 percent (USD 293 million), and about 19 percent (USD 1.16 billion), respectively, the data showed. The other sectors which recorded healthy growth include oil meals (253 percent), Iron ore (108.66 percent), tobacco (26.18 percent), rice (25.86 percent), fruits and vegetables (24 percent), carpet (23.69 percent), handicrafts (21.92 percent), spices (20.35 percent), ceramic products and glassware(19 percent), tea (13.35 percent), cashew (11.82 percent), plastic (10.42 percent), and chemicals (2.54 percent).
Export sectors that recorded negative growth include petroleum products (-37.34 percent), ready-made garments of all textiles (- 10.73 percent), and leather (- 18.6 percent). In December 2020 also, the country’s merchandise exports recorded a growth of 0.14 percent.
Imports of gold jumped by about 155 percent to USD 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 percent to USD 228.04 billion as against USD 264.13 billion during the same period last year, the data showed.
Similarly, imports too dipped by about 26 percent to USD 300.26 billion during April-January this fiscal. ”In January 2021, oil imports were USD 9.40 billion, as compared to USD 13.01 billion in January 2020, a decline by 27.72 percent. Oil imports in April-January 2020-21 were USD 63.09 billion, as compared to USD 109.72 billion in April-January 2019-20, showing a decline of 42.48 percent,” it said. The Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) welcomes the support in the Union Budget for agri export policy along with the transport and marketing assistance for specified agriculture products.
Founder chairman of TPCI Mohit Singla said the budget gave thrust on boosting agriculture export and take Indian products to the global shelves by allocating Rs 100 crore for the agri export policy. Findoc Financial Services Executive Director Nitin Shahi said that decrease in custom duty on gold and silver will add to customer spending and will be positive for jewellery companies.
First Published: IST