The gap between imports and exports or trade deficit was marginally higher at $13.7 billion during April 2018 compared to $13.2 billion in April 2017, the data showed. Major commodity groups showing positive export growth in April on annual basis include engineering goods (17.6%), chemicals (38.5%), pharmaceuticals (13.6%), yarn and handloom products (15.7%) and plastic and linoleum (30%).
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April 2018 were valued at $19.8 billion as against $17.7 billion in April 2017, showing an increase of 11.7%, according to the data released by the commerce ministry. Oil imports were valued at $10.4 billion, up 41.5% over April 2017.
“The global Brent prices have increased by 35.2% in April 2018 vis-à-vis April 2017 as per World Bank commodity price data,” the ministry said.
Non-oil imports during April 2018 were estimated at $29.2 billion, which was 4.3% lower than non-oil imports of $30.5 billion in April 2017. Gold imports dipped by 33% to $2.6 billion in April.
Exports had dipped by 0.7% to $29.1 billion in March, even as foreign shipments increased by 9.8% for 2017-18. Commenting on the data, Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president of exports’ body FIEO said the data is not encouraging.
“Almost all the labour-intensive sectors of export, including gems and jewellery, leather and leather products, RMG of all textiles, jute manufacturing including floor covering, carpets, handicrafts, agri products and many other sector of exports, dominated by MSMEs are in negative territory,” Gupta said.