Exports surge 28% in May, so does trade deficit; widens to 4-month-high

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Updated: June 15, 2018 5:50:31 PM

India's trade deficit widened to four-month high of USD 14.62 billion in May as imports surged nearly 15 per cent, the government said today.

Exports surge 28% in May, so does trade deficit; widens to 4-month-highIndia?s trade deficit widened to four-month high of USD 14.62 billion in May as imports surged nearly 15 per cent.

India’s trade deficit widened to four-month high of USD 14.62 billion in May as imports surged nearly 15 per cent, the government said today. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said exports in May rose by 28.18 per cent to USD 28.86 billion while imports were up 14.85 per cent to USD 43.48 billion. Trade deficit widened to USD 14.62 billion from USD 13.84 billion in May 2017. Oil imports were up 49.46 per cent to USD 11.5 billion on back of surge in international crude prices.

An SBI report released last week said that India should try to tap sectors such as pharmaceuticals and agriculture — particularly in commodities like rice — in the Chinese market with an aim to bridge the widening trade gap. Once India is able to tap those (agriculture and pharma) markets and increase its exports, the trade deficit will be quite balanced. In FY17, India’s trade deficit with China expanded to $51.11 billion from $38.72 billion in FY13.

In addition, data showed that the trade deficit further widened to $62.94 billion in FY18. While India is looking to export more, China is looking to import more. Amid fears of trade war under the protectionist policy of US President Donald Trump, China is planning to hold its first import-only fair later this year.

Through this fair, the dragon is projecting the Chinese market as a “historic opportunity for enterprises” to tap the enormous potential for the growth of consumption and import. China expects businesses from over 100 countries — including India. Last month, India made a great stride towards pushing India’s pharma products in China as the dragon removed import duties on as many as 28 medicines, including all cancer drugs, from May 1.

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