NEW DELHI: India’s exports grew marginally at 0.14 per cent in the month of December, showed data released by the commerce ministry on Friday, indicating that there remain signs of a global recovery. However, the high level of imports, which expanded by 7.56 per cent during the month under review, left the country’s trade deficit at a far wider $15.44 billion.
According to the data released by the government, export items that helped India’s outbound shipments gain traction included gems and jewellery (6.75 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (17.47 per cent), chemicals (10.8 per cent) and electronic goods (16.51 per cent). Negative trends continued, however, in the exports of readymade garments, which contracted by 15 per cent, and petroleum products, which fell by 35.35 per cent.
Both petroleum products and garments are high volume export categories for India but are facing headwinds due to the impact of pandemic on the global economy. However, exports of 20 out of the 30 major product categories were positive during the month.
Among high volume import categories, gold (81.82 per cent), vegetable oils (43.5 per cent), chemicals (23.3 per cent), artificial resins (32.27 per cent), iron and steel (12.67 per cent), non-ferrous metal (28.1 per), and electronic goods (20.9 per cent) saw a significant rise during the month.
According to Sharad Kumar Saraf, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), monthly exports have moved towards positive territory since major export products are showing signs of further revival. “Arrival of vaccines have also helped in boosting the business sentiments for the sector as a whole, which can be further seen from the positive figures of the upcoming months,” said Saraf.
0.14 per cent rise in December exports
7.56 per cent rise in December imports
FIEO seeks central support for sector
FIEO has urged the Centre to ensure adequate availability of containers; softer freight charges; and release the required MEIS benefits