Trade deficit widens to $19.1 bn in April

In April, India saw a notable rise in gold imports, more than doubling to $3.11 billion from $1.53 billion in March.
Imports in April amounted to $54.09 billion, reflecting a 10% rise from $49.06 billion recorded in April 2023.
Imports in April amounted to $54.09 billion, reflecting a 10% rise from $49.06 billion recorded in April 2023. Photo | Express

NEW DELHI: India’s merchandise trade deficit increased to $19.1 billion in April from $15.6 billion recorded in March, due to significant decline in exports, the government data showed on Wednesday. Exports in April, on year-on-year (YoY) basis, saw a slight increase of 1.06%, reaching $34.99 billion compared to $34.62 billion in the corresponding period last year. In March 2024, the exports stood at $41.68 billion.

Imports in April amounted to $54.09 billion, reflecting a 10% rise from $49.06 billion recorded in April 2023. Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal during media briefing said goods exports increased in April while expressing optimism about the positive start to the new financial year and anticipated sustained growth throughout the year.

“April goods exports are higher YoY. Hope this positive cycle stabilises. Trade prospects should improve this financial year given better global growth prospects and expectations of lower inflation,” Barthwal said.

In April, India saw a notable rise in gold imports, more than doubling to $3.11 billion from $1.53 billion in March. Conversely, oil imports slightly declined to $16.46 billion in April from $17.23 billion in the prior month, as per government data. In April 2024, electronic goods exports recorded a growth of 25.8%, while tea exports increased by 25.74%. On the other hand, imports saw a decline in pearls, precious and semi-precious stones by 21.12%, and in fertilisers (both crude and manufactured) by 8.3%.

Trade Secretary Barthwal emphasised that the notable increase in gold imports is not abnormal, and it aligns with typical trends. He linked this surge to the heightened global demand for gold due to geopolitical tensions, resulting in increased gold prices. He also highlighted that various central banks globally are enhancing their gold reserves in light of these uncertainties.

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