Trade deficit widens to $15.36 bn in May

Imports grow faster than exports; electronics, chemicals see good export growth

June 14, 2019 10:32 pm | Updated 10:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India’s trade deficit widened in May 2019 to $15.36 billion, with imports growing faster that exports during the period, official data released on Friday showed.

Exports grew 3.93% in May to $30 billion compared with $28.86 billion worth of exports in the same month last year.

The industries that saw a major growth in exports include electronic goods (50.97%), organic and inorganic chemicals (20.64%), and readymade goods of all textiles (14.15%).

‘Sub-optimal level’

“Export growth for May remains at sub-optimal level requiring immediate government intervention,” Engineering Export Promotion Council India chairman Ravi Sehgal said.

“For engineering sector, exporters need crucial raw material like steel at international prices. Exporters are looking forward to Budget for fiscal relief,” he said.

“Such a growth in exports is a reflection of extremely modest growth in global trade and increasing protectionism,” said Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Liquidity concerns

“MSME sectors are still facing the problem of liquidity besides various other challenges, including uncertainties owing to tariff war, volatility in commodities/currencies, rapid rise in trade restrictive measures and constraints on the domestic front,” he added. Imports into India grew 4.31% in May 2019 to $45.35 billion, up from $43.48 billion worth of imports in May of last year.

The segments that saw strong growth in exports include pulses (84.2%) and gold (37.4%).

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