India returns to trade deficit in July with a 10.2% decline in exports

India registered a deficit of $4.83 billion in its merchandise trade in July 2020, after reporting its first trade surplus in over 18 years in the previous month as gold imports shot up during the month on rising investor demand for a safe haven.

At $4.83 billion, India’s the trade deficit for July 2020 was down 64.06 per cent against the deficit of $13.43billion in July 2019. 
Overall trade deficit for the April-July 2020 period stood at $ 13.95 billion. 
India’s merchandise exports fell for the fifth consecutive month (by 10.2 per cent) in July 2020, while imports dipped 28.4 per cent year-on-year, data released by commerce ministry showed.
India recorded a trade surplus of $790 million in June for the first time in more than 18 years as the slump in domestic demand following the coronavirus outbreak hit imports.
India’s gold imports shot up to $13.4 billion during July amid economic uncertainty as investors looked for a safe haven amid economic uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
Merchandise exports from the country in July 2020 stood at $23.64 billion (Rs1,77,305.79 crore), against $26.33 billion (Rs1,81,190.34 crore) in July 2019, showing a negative growth of (-) 10.21 per cent in dollar terms and a (-) 2.14 per cent growth in rupee terms.
Major commodities that have recorded positive growth during July 2020 vis-à-vis July 2019 are cereals  (204.99 per cent), rice (47.99 per cent), iron ore (39.61 per cent), oilseeds (32.61 per cent), oil meals (28.44 per cent), meat, dairy and poultry products (22.14 per cent), fruits and vegetables (21.01 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (19.53 per cent), coffee (14.27 per cent), cereal preparations and miscellaneous processed items (12.92 per cent), ceramic products and glassware (9.72 per cent), engineering goods (8.46 per cent), cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, handloom products etc (7.44 per cent), jute mfg, including floor covering (6.77 per cent), plastic and linoleum (3.72 per cent) and carpet (1.96 per cent).
Major commodities that have recorded negative growth during July 2020 vis-à-vis July 2019 include petroleum products (-51.54 per cent), gems and jewellery (-49.61 per cent), leather and leather products (-26.96 per cent), man-made yarn/fabs/made-ups etc (-23.33 per cent), RMG of all textiles (-22.09 per cent), cashew (-21.25 per cent), marine products (-20.14 per cent), tobacco (-19.49 per cent), electronic goods (-17.42 per cent), spices (-11.38 per cent), mica, coal and other ores, minerals including processed minerals (-8.21 per cent), handicrafts excl handmade carpet (-6.12 per cent), tea (-3.97 per cent) and organic and inorganic chemicals (-0.05 per cent).
Cumulative value of exports for the period April-July 2020-21 stood at $74.96 billion (Rs5,66,322.06 crore) against $107.41 billion (Rs7,45,174.85 crore) during April-July 2019-20, registering a negative growth of (-) 30.21 per cent in dollar terms and a negative growth of (-) 24.00 per cent in rupee terms.
Imports in July 2020 stood at $28.47 billion (Rs2,13,499.56 crore), which shows a decline of 28.40 per cent in dollar terms and a 21.96 per cent decline in rupee terms over imports worth $39.76 billion (Rs2,73,579.71 crore) in July 2019. 
Cumulative value of imports for the period April-July 2020-21 was $88.91 billion (Rs6,71,894.74 crore), against $166.80 billion (Rs11,57,232.64 crore) during April-July 2019-20, registering a negative growth of (-) 46.70 per cent in dollar terms and a negative growth of (-) 41.94 per cent in rupee terms.
Major commodity groups of import showing negative growth in July 2020 included crude oil that showed a 31.97 per cent decline in dollar terms at $6.53 billion and a 25.86 per cent decline in rupee terms at Rs48,975.09 crore.
Non-oil imports in July2020 were estimated at $21.94 billion (Rs1,64,524.47 crore), which was 27.26 per cent lower in dollar terms and 20.72 per cent lower in rupee terms.