Inflation | India’s exports decline for fifth straight month in December, trade deficit narrows
India’s exports declined 1.8% in December to $27.36 billion as 19 of the 30 exporting sectors showed a decline in outbound shipments.
The rate of decline is imports was sharper at 8.83% at $38.61 billion which helped narrow down the trade deficit to $11.25 billion last month from $12.12 billion in November, data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed on Wednesday.
“The decline in the merchandise trade deficit in December 2019 relative to December 2018 was driven by the relatively broad-based contraction in imports,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.
Among imports, the decline was led by transport equipment, gold, precious stones, electronic goods and petroleum.
Oil imports contracted 0.83% to $10.69 billion while gold imports dipped 3.93% to $ 2.46 billion.
Non-oil non-gold imports, an indicator of the strength of domestic demand, contracted 12.2%.
“The double-digit contraction sustained by non-oil non gold imports for three months in a row is a cause for concern,” Nayar said.
Electronic goods, drugs & pharmaceuticals, marine products, readymade garments and cotton yarn were the major commodity groups of export which showed growth.
The trade deficit in December 2018 was $14.49 billion.
In April-December 2019-20, India’s exports slipped 1.96% on year to $239.29 billion while imports fell 8.9% to $ 357.39 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $118.1 billion.
A breakdown of the numbers-