New Delhi : Contracting for the eighth month in a row, India’s exports were down 10.3 % in July to USD 23.13 billion, hit by global slowdown and dip in crude oil prices which impacted the value of petroleum products. In July 2014, the merchandise exports had amounted to USD 25.79 billion. The last time exports registered a positive growth was in November, when shipments expanded at a rate of 7.27 %.

After declining in June, Gold imports jumped 62.2 % to USD 2.96 billion last month, a development which will have adverse bearing on India’s current account deficit (CAD).  Imports of the precious metal stood at USD 1.82 billion in July, 2014. In June this year, the imports dipped 37 % to USD 1.96 billion. The growth in gold imports has pushed the country’s trade deficit to an eight month high of USD 12.81 billion in July. Imports, too, declined by 10.28 % to USD 35.94 billion in July this year due to fall in oil imports.

The main exporting sectors which reported negative growth last month include petroleum products (about 43.22 %), leather and leather goods (10.15 %), marine products (17.6 %) and chemicals (6.22 %).

Exporters expressed concerns over the continuous decline. “It is matter of concern as the decline is continuing. But going for the figures of 10 days in August, we are expecting a little turnaround in August. From September, there will be the impact of base effect,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S C Ralhan said.

The prime reason continues to be low prices of crude, metal and commodity, dip in manufacturing  growth and slowdown in western markets, he said.

 Also, oil imports dropped 34.91 % in July to USD 9.48 billion. Oil imports account for about 31 % of the total imports.

Non-oil imports, however, grew by 3.8 % to USD 26.46 billion. During the first four months (April-July) of the current financial year, exports are down 15.04 % at USD 89.82 billion.

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