Exports up 44.2 percent in August; deficit widens to $14.1 bn

Exports up 44.2 percent in August; deficit widens to $14.1 bn

Although the growth in exports is much above the government's target, it has slowed down significantly when compared to the previous month.  Exports had surged 81.79 percent to $29.34 billion in July, while imports had grown by 51.52 percent to $40.42 billion, resulting in the month's trade deficit of $11.08 billion.
 
Talking to reporters here after releasing the provisional data, Khullar said the government would help exporters to maintain the growth momentum.  "Up till now we have had a good run, but you could be looking at difficulties down the road. If you want to prevent them, then you better kick in now with action,” he said.

Without specifying the measures, Khullar said the government will have to do something to keep the growth momentum. “I don't know when but something will have to be done," he said.

With increased imports, the trade deficit has shown a widening trend in the last three months. It rose to $14.1 billion in August from $11.1 billion in July and $7.7 billion in June.

The cumulative value of exports for the April-August period rose 54.2 percent at $134.5 billion, while imports during the period increased by 40.4 percent at  $189.4 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $54.9 billion during the first five months of the fiscal.

Khullar said readymade garments and textiles have done quite well. However, exports of iron ore, fruits and vegetables were not good.  The engineering sector continue to lead the growth in exports. During the April-August period, engineering exports surged 81 percent at $39.6 billion. Exports of petroleum and oil products up 60 percent at $24.2 billion, electronics 75 percent higher at $4.7 billion and readymade garments up 32 percent at $5.75 billion were the major drivers of growth in the first five months of the fiscal.

The commerce secretary said the exports growth might slow in the coming months due to the economic uncertainties in the US and in European countries, the major traditional markets for Indian exports.

Khullar said imports of fertilizers have started picking up and almost doubled in August.  Major drivers of imports during April-August period were: petroleum oil and lubricants, 27 percent up at $52.2 billion; gold and silver 130 percent up at $26.3 billion; machinery 45 percent up at $14.9 billion; electronics 78 percent up at $13.6 billion; organic and inorganic chemicals 30 percent up at $30 billion and coal 65 percent up at $7 billion.

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