Exports dip marginally in February; trade deficit widens to USD 12.88 billion
After recording positive growth for two months in a row, India's exports dipped marginally by 0.25 per cent to USD 27.67 billion in February and trade deficit widened to USD 12.88 billion, according to preliminary data released by the government on Tuesday.
Imports grew 6.98 per cent to USD 40.55 billion during the month, the data showed.
The trade deficit stood at USD 10.16 billion in February 2020.
Exports during April-February 2020-21 were USD 255.92 billion, compared with USD 291.87 billion during the same period of last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 12.32 per cent.
Imports during April-February this fiscal also dipped 23 per cent to USD 340.88 billion.
In February, oil imports declined 16.63 per cent to USD USD 8.99 billion. It was down by 40.18 per cent to USD 72.08 billion during 11 months period of the current fiscal.
Major commodities of export that have recorded positive growth during February include oil meals, iron ore, rice, meat, dairy and poultry products, carpet, spices, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.
The sectors that recorded negative export growth in February include petroleum products (-27.13 per cent), leather (-21.62 per cent), cashew (-18.6 per cent), gems and jewellery (-11.18 per cent), engineering goods (-2.56 per cent), tea (-2.49 per cent), and coffee (-0.73 per cent), it added.
Key import goods that registered healthy growth include gold, dyeing/tanning/colouring materials, chemicals, electronic goods, iron and steel, and textile yarn fabric, made-up articles. Sectors that recorded negative import growth include silver, newsprint, fertiliser, coal, leather, transport equipment, petroleum, pulses, machine tools, cotton raw and waste, pearls, and precious and semi-precious stones.
Gold imports in February jumped to about USD 3 billion.
Growing for the second consecutive month, the country's exports rose 6.16 per cent year-on-year to USD 27.45 billion in January 2021.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S K Saraf said they continue to see signs of further revival not only in the order booking positions but also in the demand from across the globe, paving way for much better days and months for the sector.
However, he said rising exports from China have led to the shortage of containers in the region, as most of the empty containers are available only for exports from China. The shipping lines and container companies are being paid hefty premiums for bringing empty containers back to China.