New Delhi: In a set back, India’s exports entered a negative zone after five months, declining 2.15 per cent in September. Indian exports have declined at a time when fall in rupee value was expected to boost external trade.
Exports in September 2018 were $27.95 billion, as compared to $28.57 billion in September 2017.
Imports went up by 10.45 per cent in September to $41.9 billion as against $37.9 billion in September 2017.
However, merchandise trade deficit is $13.98 billion in September 2018 which is the lowest in last five months, despite high oil prices.
“This decline is entirely due to the base effect resulting from September 2017 being an abnormally high growth month of about 26 per cent in dollar terms due to the imminent cut off then for drawbacks at pre-GST rates,” commerce ministry said.
It said that this is a temporary out of trend phenomenon. “Exporters continue to be resurgent with their realised incomes having gone up by almost 10 per cent. October 2018 figures promise to be as per the ongoing six-month trend again,” the ministry said.
“Though the data shows a marginal negative growth in the month of September primarily due to high base effect last year, the aggregate value of exports in this September is much more than in the month of April, June and July of 2018 in which we recorded as high as 17 per cent growth. The overall exports in the month of September is close to $28 billion, which is the minimum exports we are looking for each month so as to reach milestone of $350 billion,” said FIEO, president, Ganesh Kumar Gupta.
He said that reduction in trade deficit would ease out concerns of current account deficit and may sombre the rupee fluctuation to some extent.
Mr Gupta expressed exuded confidence that despite increasing protectionism and high volatility in currencies, Indian exporters have managed well to get new orders and remain bullish on exports in short to medium term basis.