Exports grow over 18 per cent in October even as trade deficit widens


India saw its exports rise by 17.86 per cent in October even as its trade deficit widened, according to data released by the Commerce and Industries Ministry. According to analysts, the high export growth is driven partly by a low base recorded during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Numbers released by the ministry put exports at $26.98 billion and imports at $44.11 billion, up by 17.62 per cent. The country’s trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, also grew $17.13 billion compared to $14.61 billion in October 2017. The country’s exports in October however, have contracted sequentially from $27.95 billion in September. The widening trade deficit comes even as the month saw a steep decline of 42.9 per cent in gold imports to $1.68 billion.

Commenting on the trade figures, export organisations like the Federation of Indian Exporters’ Organisations (FIEO) and the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) pointed out that the double digit export growth recorded during the month under review were due to a favourable base effect, as the foreign shipments in the comparable month of the previous fiscal were quite low at $22.89 billion. FIEO President Ganesh Gupta also made demands for the augmenting of the flow of credit as the sharp decline did not augur well for the sector.

According to the ministry’s figures, sectors which recorded healthy growth in October include petroleum (49.3 per cent), engineering (8.87 per cent), chemicals (34 per cent), pharma (13 per cent), and gems and jewellery sector (5.5 per cent).


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