Goods exports decline for 6th month, down 16% in July

NEW DELHI: Amid weak global demand and lower commodity prices, India’s goods exports fell 15.9% in July to $32.3 billion, marking the sixth straight month of decline. Imports contracted for the seventh straight month, decreasing 17% to $52.9 billion, helping narrow the trade deficit to $20.7 billion.

With services exports growing 12% to $27.2 billion, commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal asserted that combined exports during the current financial year will be higher than 2022-23. “Globally, the headwinds, which we were expecting would improve, are still there. Most countries are reporting very negative export and import growth. Their imports are our exports. If I look at it from that perspective, the fall is not as much,” he told reporters.

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Among the goods segment, 18 of the 30 top export products saw a decline, with petroleum products witnessing the sharpest drop — falling 43.7% to $4.6 billion in July from $8.3 billion in the corresponding period last year. The $3.7 billion decrease accounted for more than 60% of the export decline during July 2023.
“The value of oil exports is affecting exports drasti cally. In volume terms, there is no decline,” the commerce secretary said.
On the import front, 16 of the top 30 items saw a decrease, with the sharpest decline seen in the case of silver where the value of shipments dropped 97% to $30 million in July 2023. Petroleum shipments fell 37% to $11.8 billion in July, as against $18.6 billion in the corresponding period last year. This has been despite some of the imports rising, partly to feed into domestic production. Electronics exports boomed, rising 43% to $7 billion during the first quarter, while smartphone exports jumped 125% to $3.7 billion.
Russia 2nd largest source of imports
The surge in import of oil and fertiliser from Russia has helped it overtake the UAE and the US to emerge as the second largest source of imports for India, just behind China.
According to commerce department estimates, during April-July, imports from Russia nearly doubled to $20.5 billion, as against $10.4 billion a year ago. During this period, imports from China were estimated to have declined 5.3% to $32.7 billion. The UAE and the US saw asteeper decline.

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