India’s merchandise exports in May rose by 15.46 per cent — the slowest in the last 15 months — to USD 37.29 billion, while the trade deficit ballooned to USD 23.33 billion, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.
The previous low was February 2021, when the country’s exports grew by 0.67 per cent.
Imports during May 2022 grew by 56.14 per cent to USD 60.62 billion.
The trade deficit stood at USD 6.53 billion in the same month last year.
“India’s merchandise export in April – May 2022-23 was USD 77.08 billion with an increase of 22.26 per cent over USD 63.05 billion in April -May 2021-22,” it said.
Petroleum and crude oil imports during May 2022 surged by 91.6 per cent to USD 18.14 billion.
Coal, coke and briquettes imports jumped to USD 5.33 billion, as against USD 2 billion in May 2021.
Gold imports increased to USD 5.82 billion during the month under review, from USD 677 million in May 2021.
Cumulative imports in April-May 2022-23 rose by 42.35 per cent to USD 120.81 billion.
Trade deficit during the first two months of this fiscal widened to USD 43.73 billion as against USD 21.82 billion earlier.
Engineering goods exports in May increased by 7.84 per cent to USD 9.3 billion, while petroleum products exports grew by 52.71 per cent to USD 8.11 billion.
Gems and jewelry exports stood at USD 3.1 billion in May against USD 2.96 billion in the same month last year.
Exports of rose chemicals by 12 per cent to USD 2.5 billion in May.
Similarly, shipments of pharma and ready-made garments of all textiles grew by 5.78 per cent and 23 per cent to USD 1.98 billion and USD 1.36 billion respectively during the month under review.
Commenting on the figures, Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said the trade deficit is a cause of concern due to rise in import of gold.
“But we hope that rising gold imports will lead to an increase in exports of gems and jewellery,” he added. PTI RR ABM ABM
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