NEW DELHI: India's merchandise exports rose 69.35 per cent in May to USD 32.27 billion compared to a low base of USD 19.05 billion during May 2020 driven by healthy growth in sectors such as engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery, according to revised data released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
When compared month-on-month, exports grew 5.4 per cent to 32.3 billion in May compared to USD 30.6 billion in April. Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in May were at USD 24 billion, as against $16.36 billion in May 2020, registering a positive growth of 46.50 per cent.
In April, the export value of these items stood at USD 23.6 billion. The data showed that 25 out of 30 major product groups of exports have either shown a very high growth or were in positive territory, despite the second wave of Covid-led disruptions.
There was negative growth in exports of fruits & vegetables basket, which was down 7.1 per cent, followed by oil seeds (- 7.09 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (- 5.36 per cent), tea (- 3.4 per cent) and spices (- 0.33 per cent).
Higher imports, meanwhile, pushed the fiscal deficit to $6.28 billion, up by 99.61 per cent against the same month last year. Imports grew 73.64 per cent to $38.55 billion in May, up from $222 billion in the same month last year.
Oil imports during the month were USD 9.45 billion, 171.1 per cent higher against USD 3.49 billion in May 2020. As compared to May 2019, oil imports were 24.94 per cent lower. Non-oil imports were estimated at $ 29.10 billion during the month under review, up 55.48 per cent compared to $18.71 billion last year.
According to Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Sharad Kumar Saraf, exports continue to perform impressively for the third month in a row on the back of good order booking and gradual opening of global markets.
ICRA chief economist Aditi Nayar said that the steady exports over April-May suggests that India may be well poised to benefit from recovering demand in the advanced economies.