NEW DELHI: India’s trade deficit in July 2022 widened to $31.02 billion from $26.18 billion in June due to inflated commodity prices, according to the data released by the Commerce ministry on Tuesday.
The trade deficit in the same month last year (2021) stood at $10.63 billion. In the April-July 2022 period, the trade deficit crossed $100 billion, almost 2.5 times the trade deficit in the same period last year.
While merchandise exports in July 2022 remained flat at $35.24 billion ($35.51 billion in July 2021), merchandise import in July 2022 was $66.26 billion, a rise of 43.59% over $46.15 billion in July 2021.
Petroleum and coal were the major contributors to India’s imports in July. India imported petroleum products of $21.13 billion in July, which is 70% higher than last year. Similarly, coal imports witnessed a spike of 164% to $5.18 billion in July.
“Contrary to our expectations, the merchandise trade deficit widened to $31 billion in July 2022, with a sequential decline in exports and flattish imports. On a Year-on-Year (YoY) basis, exports dipped, while imports recorded a sharp rise in July 2022 on the back of higher commodity prices. The $20 billion YoY rise in imports was led by petroleum products and coal, negating the relief offered by a fall in gold imports. Worryingly, merchandise imports were almost twice as high as merchandise exports in July 2022,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist of ICRA.
Merchandise imports in April-July 2022-23 were $256.43 billion with a rise of 48.12% over $ 173.12 billion in April -July 2021-22. The value of non-petroleum imports was $45.13 billion in July 2022 with a positive growth of 33.74% over non-petroleum imports of $33.74 billion in July 2021. The cumulative value of non-petroleum imports in April-July 2022-23 was $174.39 billion, showing an increase of 34.35% as against non-oil imports of $129.81 billion in April -July 2021-22.