Exports up 11.1% in Sept; trade gap at 30-month low

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SummaryAmid a policy-enabled sharp fall in inward shipments of gold and silver, India’s merchandise trade deficit crashed to a 30-month low of $6.76 billion in September.

Amid a policy-enabled sharp fall in inward shipments of gold and silver, India’s merchandise trade deficit crashed to a 30-month low of $6.76 billion in September. The trade gap is the lowest since March 2011, when it stood at $3.8 billion.

The sharp fall in trade deficit could help curb the burgeoning current account deficit in Q2, and subsequently stabilise the rupee, which depreciated to as much as over 68 against the dollar this year.

While exports jumped 11.1 per cent (YoY) to $27.68 billion in September, partly aided by a weak rupee, imports dipped 18.1 per cent to $34.4 billion. “I am confident that import-containment measures put in place for non-essential imports are playing out extremely well and we need to continue this so that our rupee becomes stronger,” SR Rao, commerce secretary, said.

US shutdown not to hit India’s exports: Rao

New Delhi: India’s exports are unlikely to be hit on account of the US shutdown which has been going on for more than a week now, commerce secretary SR Rao today said.

“I do not think so, essentially because of the thumb rule that industry in US is not led by government but by the private sector,” Rao said when asked whether the US shutdown would reverse export growth of India. He said US businessmen are quite aggressive and will not allow the shutdown to continue. “...the US businessmen are extremely aggressive...so will they keep quiet if their business has shut?” PTI

Gold and silver imports declined sharply by 82 per cent during September at $0.8 billion as against $4.6 billion during the year-ago period, thanks to the hike in import duty on the metals to 10 per cent in August, the third revision this year, and the Reserve Bank norm that at least a fifth of gold bought from abroad must be used for re-exports. During the first half of this fiscal, gold and silver imports rose 8.7 per cent to $23.1 billion. Import of petroleum and oil products declined 5.9 per cent during the month at $13.2 billion.

During the first half of the fiscal, exports grew by 5.14 per cent to $152.11 billion while imports declined by 1.8 per cent to $232.23 billion. The trade deficit for the April-September period stood at $80.12 billion.

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