Economy

Export growth shrinks 14 % in April

Contracting for the fifth straight month, India’s export growth shrank 14 per cent in April to $22.05 billion. Exports growth had slid to 21 per cent in March, the biggest fall in the last six years.

Persistent exports weakness — owing to lacklustre global demand — could weigh down growth. Exports account for about 16 per cent of India’s GDP. GDP data for the three-month period January to March is scheduled to be released on May 29. Last year, at $310.5 billion, India’s exports fell short of the annual target of $340 billion for 2014-15.

A 42.65-per cent decline in oil imports to $7.44 billion dragged overall imports to $33.05 billion or 7.48 per cent lower than in March, according to official data released on Friday.

The trade deficit widened to $10.99 billion in April against $10.09 billion a year earlier, but was narrower than March’s $11.79 billion.

Exports of petroleum products shrank sharply by 46.53 per cent to $2.76 billion in April. Non-oil imports, however, rose 12.58 per cent to $25.60 billion.

Gold imports, however, surged 78.33 per cent to $3.13 billion.

Commenting on the data FIEO President S. C. Ralhan said in a statement: “Negative growth in exports is continuing since December, 2014, though the decline has come down from 21 per cent in March, 2015 to 14 per cent in April, 2015… The prime reason continues to be softening of crude, metal and commodity prices…Decline in exports of rice, marine products, meat, dairy and poultry products, leather and leather products are of equal consequences as these sectors have shown great promise in the past.” He said that the negative growth in gems and jewellery, electronics and plastic goods was equally worrying as domestic capabilities were being augmented in these sectors.

The increase in exports of engineering, handicrafts, carpets, pharmaceuticals, organic and inorganic chemicals, he said, was very positive.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 4:28:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/export-growth-shrinks-14-in-april/article7211160.ece

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