NEW DELHI: On account of poor shipments of petroleum, gems and jewellery and leather products, India’s exports contracted for the fourth month in a row in November, dipping 0.34 per cent to $25.98 billion, according to government data released on Friday.
Further, imports too declined by 12.71 per cent to $38.11 billion in November, narrowing the trade deficit to $12.12 billion. Trade deficit during the period narrowed to $54.06 billion as against $ 82.47 billion in April-November 2018-19.
Shipments of petroleum products, gems and jewellery, fruits and vegetables, leather and leather products and ready-made garments of all textiles contracted by 13.12 per cent, 8.14 per cent, 15.10 per cent, 5.29 per cent and 6.52 per cent respectively.
“Prolonging trade tensions and protectionism along with sluggishness in the economies across the globe has further added to the woes of India’s exports sector. The slowdown projected across the economies for short-term and medium-term and return to more normal trade relations among countries looks a mere probability,” said Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, FIEO.
Only 13 of the 30 major product groups were in positive territory during November 2019. FIEO said all major sector of exports including almost all labour-intensive sector of exports were still in negative territory. Cumulatively, during April-November 2019, exports were down 1.99 per cent to $211.93 billion while imports contracted 8.91 per cent to $318.78 billion.
Further, oil imports declined by 18.17 per cent to $11.06 billion and non-oil imports contracted 10.26 per cent to $27.04 billion. Gold imports increased by 6.59 per cent to $2.94 billion in the month. Saraf said domestic issues including uncertainty over MEIS Scheme was a cause of concern as exporters’ claim for over four months was pending, that wiped out their liquidity and kept them in doldrums with regard to finalising new contracts.
Gold imports rise
Gold imports increased by 6.59 per cent to $2.94 billion in the month. The trade deficit stood at $17.58 billion in November 2018. Of the 30 key sectors, at least 17 sectors showed contraction in exports during the month