The export figures released by the government revealed a worrying economic slowdown in the country. 18 out of 30 main sectors of exports depicted a negative growth. India’s exports declined by 1.11% in October.
Trade Deficit Narrows
The overall trade deficit narrowed down to USD 11.01 billion in October 2019 from USD 18 billion in October 2018. This decline in the trade deficit is due to a decrease in imports from USD 44.68 billion (October 2018) to USD 37.39 billion (October 2019). However, even after India’s exports declined to USD 26.38 billion as compared to USD 26.67 billion in October 2018.
The decline in total export was due to decrease in exports of petroleum products by 14.6%, carpet by 17%, leather products by 7.6%, rice by 29.5% and tea by 6.16%. The commodities that showed positive exports include Electronics (38.42%), Drugs and Pharmaceuticals (12.61%), Gems and Jewellery (6.02%) and Chemicals (0.86%).
Service exports registered a positive growth of 27.05%. The export of services was estimated at around 17.22 billion dollars in October 2019.
Decline in Import
The import figures depicted a decline of 16.31% from the previous year. During April-October 2018, imports stood at USD 280.67 billion whereas imports during April-October 2019 stood at USD 306.31 billion. The commodities revealing a negative import include petroleum and crude products (-31.74%), coal and coke (28.74%), transport equipment (-14.65%), electronic goods (-8.53%) and machinery (-0.45%). However, gold import increased by 5% in October 2019. According to the latest data, Service imports registered a positive growth of 11.56%. The service import for October 2019 estimated at 10.92 billion dollars.
Sharad Kumar Saraf, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organization said that the trade tensions across the globe and excessive protection policies are responsible for decline in India’s exports. Chairman of Trade Promotion Council of India Chairman, Mohit Singla, stated that the decrease in exports has further slackened the demand in the country. A Ludhiana based exported emphasized on declaring the new foreign trade policy 2020-25 to control the damages in time.
To conclude, the sluggishness in the economy has increased further. It is expected that government efforts will yield a positive result in the future.