Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Merchandise export rises 5.17 per cent in April

Merchandise export rises 5.17 per cent in April

Merchandise exports rebounded from a contraction in the preceding month and increased 5.17% year-on-year to $25.91 billion, from $24.64 billion in April 2017.

Imports during April 2018 were valued at USA $ 39.63 billion, which was 4.60 per cent higher over the level of imports valued at United States $ 37.88 billion in April 2017. "Nevertheless, the continued rise in the crude oil price in the ongoing month does not augur well for the upcoming print of the merchandise trade deficit".

According to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, engineering goods, organic and inorganic chemicals and drugs and pharmaceuticals showed a high growth rate of export. This is mainly due to surge in crude oil prices and may pose a headache for the government in coming days.

"Non-oil imports during April 2018 were estimated at $29.21 billion which was 4.30 per cent lower than non-oil imports of $30.53 billion in April 2017". With only a $ 1.49 billion worth of outbound shipments made, exports in the sector fell by a significant 22.76 per cent in April, higher than the 17.78 per cent fall in March.

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Oil imports during the month under review were valued at Dollars 10.41 billion, 41.5 per cent higher than the same month of previous year.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president Ganesh Kumar Gupta said that the exports data is not encouraging. The contraction in April may impact the index of industrial production which rose 4.4 per cent in March.

India's trade deficit widened the most in three months in April as rising crude prices weighed on the world's third-biggest oil consumer. "This is reflected in the unprecedented month on month decline in the apparel exports every month after October 2017", H K L Magu, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council said.

Mr Gupta said that the domestic issues including access to credit, cost of credit especially for MSMEs and pending GST refund affecting exports should be seriously looked into as global challenges and increasing protectionism, has also added to the woes of the exporters.

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