India's merchandise trade deficit spurted 173.47 per cent year-on-year to $13.25 billion in April, the first month of the current financial year, against a deficit of $4.84 billion in April 2016, on the back of higher imports of crude oil and gold, whose prices have started rising again after a lull.
This is the second consecutive double-digit rise in the country's trade deficit after the $10.44 billion trade deficit reported in March, government data released today showed.
India's exports in April 2017 rose 19.77 per cent to $24.64 billion, while imports rose 49.07 per cent to $37.88 billion, data released by the commerce ministry showed.
Exports during April 2017 grew 19.77 per cent in dollar terms to $24.64 billion compared to $20.57 billion during April 2016. In rupee terms exports valued at Rs158,913.79 crore, showed a growth of 16.23 per cent compared to Rs136.720.11 crore during April 2016.
Exports excluding petroleum and gems and jewellery products in April 2017 were valued at $17.72 billion against $15.14 billion in April 2016, an increase of 17.06 per cent.
Imports during April 2017 were valued at $37,884.28 million (Rs244,380.52crore) which was 49.07 per cent higher in dollar terms and 44.67 per cent higher in rupee terms over the level of imports valued at $25,413.72 million (Rs168,923.71 crore) in April 2016.
Imports of crude oil during April 2017 were valued at $7.36 billion, which was 30.12 per cent higher than oil imports valued at $5.66 billion in April 2016. This is attributed to a 25.40 per cent increase in Brent crude prices (not imported by India).
Non-oil imports during April 2017 were estimated at $30.53 billion, which was 54.50 per cent higher than non-oil imports of $19.76 billion in April 2016.