India's merchandise trade deficit plummets 55% to $6.76 bn as Covid hits global trade

India’s merchandise trade deficit for April 2020 declined to an estimated $6.76 billion compared with a deficit of $15.33 billion in April 2019, showing a 55 per cent fall as the coronavirus pandemic halted global trade.

Merchandise exports from the country stood at $10.36 billion (Rs78,951.41 crore) in April 2020 against exports worth $26.07billion (Rs1,81,021.34 crore) in April 2019, showing a negative growth of 60.28 per cent in dollar terms and a 56.39 per cent decline in rupee terms.
The decline in exports has been mainly due to the ongoing global slowdown, which got aggravated due to the current Covid-19 crisis. The latter resulted in large scale disruptions in supply chains and demand resulting in cancellation of orders.
Except for iron ore and drugs and pharmaceuticals, which recorded a growth of 17.53 per cent and 0.25 per cent, respectively, all other commodities/commodity groups registered negative growth year-on-year in April 2020.
Major commodity groups which have recorded negative export growth during April 2020 vis-à-vis April 2019 are gems and jewellery (-98.74 per cent), leather and leather products (-93.28 per cent), handicrafts, excluding handmade carpet (-91.84 per cent), carpet (-91.67 per cent), RMG of all textiles (-91.04 per cent), jute mfg, including floor covering (-90.61 per cent), man-made yarn/fabs/made-ups etc (-84.11 per cent), cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, handloom products etc (-82.46 per cent), ceramic products and glassware (-76.72 per cent), electronic goods (-71.04 per cent), tea (-68.89 per cent), tobacco (-68.47 per cent), cashew (-67.55 per cent), petroleum products (-66.22 per cent), engineering goods (-64.76 per cent), oil seeds (-62.33 per cent), mica, coal and other ores, mineralsn including processed minerals (-60.41 per cent), meat, dairy and poultry products (-60.34 per cent), oil meals (-50.6 per cent), cereal preparations and miscellaneous processed items (-48.28 per cent), coffee (-44.22 per cent), marine products (-43.94 per cent), organic and inorganic chemicals (-41.93 per cent), other cereals  (-40.86 percent), spices (-32.18 per cent), plastic and linoleum (-25.35 per cent), fruits and vegetables (-9.29 per cent) and rice (-7.04 percent).
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April 2020 stood at $9.08 billion, against $19.54 billion in April 2019, showing a negative growth of (-) 53.54 per cent.
Merchandise imports into the country in April 2020 stood at $17.12 billion (Rs1,30,525.08 crore), which was 58.65 per cent lower in dollar terms and 54.59 per cent lower in rupee terms over imports valued at $41.40 billion (Rs2,87,432.93crore) in April 2019.
Oil imports in April 2020 were valued at $4.66 billion (Rs35,537.22 crore), which was 59.03 per cent lower in dollar terms and 55.01 per cent lower in rupee terms), compared to $11.38 billion (Rs78,989.46 crore) in April 2019.
Non-oil imports in April 2020 were estimated at $12.46 billion (Rs94,987.86 crore) which was 58.50 per cent lower in dollar terms and 54.43 per cent lower in rupee terms), compared to $30.02 billion (Rs2,08,443.47 crore) in April 2019.
Non-oil and non-gold imports were valued at $12.46 billion in April 2020, registering a negative growth of (-) 52.18 per cent, against non-oil and non-gold imports of $26.05 billion in April 2019.