April trade deficit widens to 5-month high as growth in exports falls; key figures

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Published: May 15, 2019 7:17:11 PM

The trade deficit, or difference between exports and imports, widened in April from the year-ago period as exports rose marginally due to sluggish global trade and rising concerns over US-China trade war.

trade deficitThe deficit rose to .33 billion in April 2019 as against .72 billion in April 2018, official data showed.

The trade deficit rose to 5-month high in April as exports rose marginally due to sluggish global trade and rising concerns over US-China trade war, the official data released on Wednesday showed. The trade deficit or difference between exports and imports rose to $15.33 billion in April 2019 as against $13.72 billion in April 2018. The exports rose by just 0.64 per cent last month to $26 billion while imports surged by 4.5 per cent to $41.4 billion as against the year-ago month, the data revealed. The import of oil rose by 9.26 per cent to $11.38 billion and non-oil imports widened by 2.78 per cent, the government data showed. The import of gold surged by 54 per cent to $3.97 billion in April.

The merchandise exports stayed flat at $26.07 billion in April as against the corresponding period in the previous year, even as imports were up 4.5 per cent at $41.40 billion, data showed.The April non-oil imports stood at $30.02 billion when compared with $31.69 billion in March last year. The electronic goods imports in April were recorded at $1.44 billion as against $1.58 billion in March, the data also showed.

Also read: Levy on steel: India likely to defer retaliation against US, again

The exports had surged to a five-month high of 11 per cent in March due to rise in  pharma, chemicals and engineering sectors. In March, the merchandise exports were recorded at $32.55 billion as against $29.32 billion in the corresponding month of last year. Since October 2018, March recorded the best growth rate for exports as shipments surged by 17.86 per cent, the data had then showed.

The global trade has remain muted ever since both the US and China have entered a trade war, imposing sanctions on each other’s imports. The tensions have risen further off late after both countries announced to further raise tariffs on the import items.

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