Trade deficit narrows to 21-month low in April
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sangeetha G
Chennai: India's merchandise and services trade deficit fell to a 21 month low in April after exports grew by 2 per cent and imports declined by 7.92 per cent.
Overall exports, which is merchandise and services combined, in April was estimated at $65.02 billion, a growth of 2 per cent over $63.75 billion in April 2022. Overall imports in April 2023 was estimated at $66.40 billion, down 7.92 per cent from $72.11 billion in April 2022. The merchandise and services deficit fell to $1.38 billion, compared with $8.37 billion in the same month last year.
India's merchandise exports dipped by 12.7 per cent year on year to $34.66 billion against $39.7 billion in April last year. Imports too declined by about 14 per cent to $49.9 billion as against $58.06 billion recorded in the same month last year. Merchandise trade deficit narrowed from $18.36 billion in April 2022 to $14.24 billion in April 2023. Deficit narrowed on a sequential basis as well. The trade deficit had risen to $19.73 billion in March from $17.43 billion in February.
"The year-on-year decline in the merchandise trade deficit in April 2023 was primarily driven by non-oil items, with the fall in crude oil prices being partly absorbed by higher volumes. After a seasonal shrinkage to sub-$5 billion in Q4 FY2023, we expect the current account deficit to print at $8-12 billion in the ongoing quarter," said Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist, ICRA.
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April 2023 were $25.76 billion, compared to $28.37 billion in April 2022. Non-petroleum, non-gems and jewellery imports in April 2023 were $31.49 billion, compared to $36.00 billion in April 2022.
While exports of electronic goods increased by 26.49 per cent during April 2023 at $2.11 billion as compared to $1.67 billion in April 2022. textiles, plastic and linoleum exports continued to decline in April 2023.
Services exports grew faster than imports in April. Services export grew to $30.36 billion from $24.05 billion in April 2022. Services import for April 2023 was $16.50 billion as compared to $14.06 billion in April 2022.