India saw its trade deficit nearly halve to $11.12 billion in the first two months of the current financial year (April-may 2016-17) compared with the deficit of $21.40 billion during April-May 2015-16, on the back of an overall decline in external trade.
India's exports in May 2016 showed a marginal fall of 0.8 per cent to $22.17 billion compared to the same month last year while imports registered a sharper decline of 13.16 per cent to $28.44 billion during the month.
The gap between exports and imports during the month stood at $6.27 billion, compared with $10.40 billion in May 2015, according to figures released by the commerce ministry.
Merchandise exports from the country during May 2016 were valued at $22.17 billion (Rs148,336.31 crore), which was 0.79 per cent lower in dollar terms and 4.04 per cent higher in rupee terms compared with exports valued at $22.35 billion (Rs142,572.92 crore) during May 2015.
Cumulative exports during April-May 2016-17 stood at $42.74 billion (Rs285,056.42 crore) against $44.401.47 billion (Rs280,973.36 crore) in the year-ago period, registering a negative growth of 3.74 per cent in dollar terms and a rise of 1.45 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
Exports of gems & jewellery, handicrafts, engineering products, chemicals and marine products rose in May 2016 while petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, meat, oilmeals and yarn declined.
Non-petroleum exports in May 2016 stood at $20.12 billion against $19.92 billion in May 2015, an increase of 1.01 per cent. Non-petroleum exports during April-May 2016 stood 1.30 per cent lower at $38.71 billion compared with $39.22 billion during the corresponding period of 2015.
Imports into the country during May 2016 stood at $28.44 billion (Rs190,306.19 crore), which was 13.16 per cent lower in dollar terms and 8.93 per cent lower in rupee terms compared to imports valued at $32.75 billion (Rs208,965.06 crore) in May 2015.
Cumulative imports during April-May 2016-17 stood at $53.86 billion (Rs359,229.90 crore) against $65.80 billion (Rs416,345.69 crore), registering a negative growth of 18.15 per cent in dollar terms and a 13.72 per cent fall in rupee terms over the same period last year.
Oil imports during May 2016 were valued at $5.94 billion, which was 30.45 per cent lower than oil imports valued at $8.54 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April-May 2016-17 were valued at $11.59 billion, which was 27.45 per cent lower than oil imports worth $15.98 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports during May 2016 were estimated at $22.50 billion, which was 7.06 per cent lower than non-oil imports worth $24.21 billion in May 2015. Non-oil imports during April-May 2016-17 were valued at $42.26 billion, which was 15.17 per cent lower than the level of such imports valued at $49.82 billion in April-May 2015-16.
Import of gold fell 39 per cent in May 2016 to $ 1.47 billion.
Overall trade balance of the country – which includes merchandise and services trade - however, improved, taking overall trade deficit for April-May 2016-17 to an estimated $5.39 billion, which is 65.67 per cent lower in dollar terms than the level of $15.71 billion during April-May 2015-16.