The merchandise exports contracted 1.8 per cent in December, declining for fifth month in a row month, even as the trade deficit fell to $11.25 billion from a year ago period, the government data released on Wednesday showed. In December 2019, the exports fell to $27.36 billion as against the corresponding period a year ago. The imports also declined 8.8 per cent to $38.61 billion, the data also showed. The trade deficit during December 2018 was $14.49 billion. The oil imports contracted by 0.83 per cent to $10.69 billion, while gold imports dipped by about 4 per cent to $2.46 billion.During April-December 2019-20, exports fell 1.96 per cent to $239.29 billion, imports declined by 8.9 per cent to $357.39 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $118.10 billion.
“Exports in December 2019 were USD27.36 billion, as compared to USD27.86 billion in December 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of (-)1.80 per cent. In Rupee terms, exports were Rs. 1,94,764.74 crore in December 2019, as compared to Rs. 1,97,044.76 crore in December 2018, registering a negative growth of (-)1.16 per cent,” the government release said.
Non-petroleum and non gems and jewellery exports in December 2019 were $21.05 billion, as compared to $21.16 billion in December 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of (-)0.54 per cent. Non-petroleum and non gems and Jewellery exports in April-December 2019-20 were $177.81 billion, as compared to $177.65 billion for the corresponding period in 2018-19, an increase of 0.09 per cent.
“With services imports expanding by a sharp 13.5% in November 2019, outpacing the services exports growth of 7.9%, the services trade surplus recorded a contraction of 0.7% on a YOY basis, after having sustained a rise in the previous three months. With the sharp fall in the merchandise trade deficit to US$34.4 billion in Q3 FY2020 from US$50.1 billion Q3 FY2019, we expect the current account deficit to shrink to US$3-5 billion in the just concluded quarter from US$18 billion in the same period of FY2019,” Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA said.