India's Apr-Feb trade deficit narrows to $113.39 bn as markets sag

news
16 March 2016

India's trade deficit for the first 11 months of the current fiscal (April-February 2015-16) stood lower at an estimated $113.39 billion, against a deficit of $126.30 billion during April-February 2014-15, amidst crumbling exports and declining imports.

India's merchandise exports during February 2016 were estimated at $20.74 billion (Rs141,515.41crore), which was 5.66 per cent lower in dollar terms and 3.77 per cent higher in rupee terms compared to exports valued at $21.98 billion (Rs136,379.94 crore) during February 2015.

Cumulative value of exports during April-February 2015-16 stood at $238.42 billion (Rs1,556,576.47 crore) against $286.31 billion (Rs1,746,265.60 crore), a negative growth of 16.73 per cent in dollar terms and a 10.86 per cent fall in rupee terms over the same period last year.

Non-petroleum exports in February 2016 were valued at $18.91 billion, against such exports worth $19.43 billion in February 2015, a decline of 2.69 per cent. Non-petroleum exports during April-February 2015-16 stood at $211.31 billion against $232.16 billion during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal - a decline of 8.98 per cent.

According to the commerce ministry, the trend of falling exports in India has been in keeping with other major world economies. Growth in exports has fallen 10.35 per cent in the US while European Union exports fell 7.62 per cent and Chinese exports were down 1.67 per cent in December 2015 over the corresponding period of the previous year, the commerce ministry quoted from WTO statistics.

Imports into the country during February 2016 were valued at $27.28 billion (Rs186,155.30 crore), which was 5.03 per cent lower in dollar terms and 4.46 per cent higher in rupee terms over the level of imports valued at $28.73 billion (Rs178,205.35 crore) in February 2015.

Cumulative value of imports for the period April-February 2015-16 was $351.81 billion (Rs2,295,116.34 crore) against $412.60 billion (Rs2,515,834.93 crore) - a negative growth of 14.74 per cent in dollar terms and an 8.77 per cent fall in rupee terms over the same period last year.

India's oil imports during February 2016 were valued at $4.77 billion, which was 21.92 per cent lower than oil imports valued at $6.12 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April-February, 2015-16 were valued at $77.86 billion, 40.52 per cent reduction from the level of $130.91 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Non-oil imports during February 2016 were estimated at $22.51 billion, which was 0.47 per cent lower than non-oil imports of $22.62 billion in February 2015. Non-oil imports during April-February 2015-16 were valued at $273.94 billion, which was 2.75 per cent lower than the level of such imports valued at $281.70 billion in April-February 2014-15.

Meanwhile, India's services exports during January 2016 stood at $12.57 billion (Rs84,556.32 crore), registering a month-on-month decline of 10.44 per cent, against a growth of 16.80 per cent recorded during December 2015, RBI data showed. Services imports during January 2016 were valued at $6.84 billion (Rs46,007.30 crore).

Net export of services for April-January 2015-16 was estimated at $59.29 billion, which is lower than net export of services worth $62.06 billion during April-January 2014-15.

However, the net services exports of $59.29 billion helped narrow the country's overall trade deficit for April-February 2015-16 to an estimated $54.10 billion against $64.24 billion in the same period last year, down 15.79 per cent year-on-year.





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