India’s exports contracted 6.05% in August to $26.13 billion, official data released on Friday showed. The trade deficit widened marginally to $13.45 billion.
“Exports in August 2019 were $26.13 billion, as compared to $27.81 billion in August 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of 6.05%,” the government said in a release. “In rupee terms, exports were ₹1,85,881.11 crore in August 2019, as compared to ₹1,93,397.12 crore in August 2018, registering a negative growth of 3.89%.” The sectors that saw notable contraction in their exports include rice (-23.95%), other cereals (-41.8%), oil meals (-44.4%), and oil seeds (-31.8%). Iron ore exports, notably, grew by a whopping 356.7%. “Imports in August 2019 were $39.58 billion (₹2,81,606.41 crore), which was 13.45% lower in dollar terms and 11.46% lower in rupee terms over imports of $45.73 billion (₹3,18,043.86 crore) in August 2018.”
The major commodity groups that saw a contraction in imports in August include coal, coke and briquettes (-23.75%), organic and inorganic chemicals (-14.95%), petroleum, crude and products (-8.9%), electrical and non-electrical machinery (-8.8%), and electronic goods (-4.12%). The contraction in both exports and imports has meant that the trade deficit has widened only marginally in August from the $13.43 billion in the previous month.