India’s exports fell by 10.3% to $23.1 billion in July, their eighth consecutive month of contraction, reflecting the sluggish global commodity prices, especially of petroleum products, rice, iron ore, oil meal and leather products. Imports too declined for the eighth straight month in July, hurt by weak demand. The contraction in exports as well as in imports was starker in dollar terms than in rupee terms, considering the recent appreciation of the greenback against the rupee.
The country’s import bill declined by 10.3% in July to $35.9 billion due to lower prices of items like crude oil and partly due to poor consumption of ores, minerals, coal, chemicals, precious stones and project goods. Due to sober global oil prices, India’s oil import bill shrank 34.9% to $9.4 billion compared to the same month a year ago. Gold imports increased by 62.2% to $2.96 billion in July.
The trade deficit for July was reported at $12.8 billion, lower than the $14.2 billion reported in the same time a year ago.
In the April-July period, exports contracted by 15.% to $89.8 billion, while imports softened by 12% to $134.8 billion. Trade deficit for the period stood at $45 billion compared with $47.5 billion in the comparable year-ago period.
“It is matter of concern as the decline is continuing. But we are expecting a little turnaround in August,” said S C Ralhan, president of Federation of Indian Export Organisations.