India added $11.64 billion to its trade deficit in August 2017, taking overall trade deficit for the first five months of the current fiscal (April-August 2017-18) to an estimated $63.14 billion, provisional figures released by the commerce ministry showed.
The trade deficit shot up from $11.45 billion in July to $11.64 billion in August with a 21.02 per cent jump in the country's merchandise imports to $35.46 billion against a 10.29 per cent increase in exports which were valued at $23.82 billion.
Imports into the country during August 2017 were valued at $35.46 billion (Rs226,849.74 crore) which was 21.02 per cent higher in dollar terms and 15.65 per cent higher in rupee terms compared to imports valued at $29.30 billion (Rs196,154.44 crore) in August 2016.
Cumulative value of imports for April-August 2017-18 was $181,72 billion (Rs1,169,589.74 crore) against $143.50 billion (Rs961,178.43 crore), which showed a growth of 26.63 per cent in dollar terms and a 21.68 per cent growth in rupee terms over the same period last year.
Major commodity group of imports showing high growth in August 2017 over the corresponding month of last year included petroleum, crude and products (14.22 per cent), electronic goods (27.44 per cent), machinery, electrical and non-electrical (18.35 per cent), gold (68.90 per cent) and pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (30.88 per cent).
Oil imports during August 2017 were valued at $7.75 billion which was 14.22 per cent higher than oil imports valued at $6.79 billion in August 2016. Oil imports during April-August 2017-18 were valued at $38.78 billion, which was 18.89 per cent higher than oil imports of $32.62 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports during August 2017 were estimated at $27.71 billion, which were 23.07 per cent higher than non-oil imports of $22.51 billion in August 2016. Non-oil imports during April-August 2017-18 were valued at $142.94 billion, which was 28.91 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $110.88 billion in April-August 2016-17.
Exports from the country also recorded a higher growth compared to the previous year. Exports during August 2017 have shown growth of 10.29 per cent in dollar terms at $23.82 billion compared to $21.60 billion in August 2016 while showing a 5.39 per cent growth in rupee terms at Rs152,365.23 crore against exports worth Rs144,570.03 crore during August 2016.
During August 2017, major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of last year are engineering goods (19.53 per cent), petroleum products (36.56 per cent), organic and inorganic chemicals (32.41 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (4.21 per cent), and textiles (0.56 per cent)
Cumulative value of exports for the period April-August 2017-18 was $118.57 billion (Rs763,145.37 crore) against $109.22 billion (Rs731,420.12 crore) showing a growth of 8.57 per cent in dollar terms and a 4.34 per cent growth in rupee terms.
Non-petroleum and non-jewellery exports in August 2017 were valued at $17.74 billion against $15.50 billion in August 2016, an increase of 14.47 per cent. Non-petroleum and non-jewellery exports during April-August 2017-18 were valued at $87.44 billion against $79.62 billion for the corresponding period in 2016-17, an increase of 9.82 per cent.