India's exports rose by 69.35 per cent to USD 32.27 billion in May, driven by healthy growth in sectors such as engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery, even as trade deficit widened to USD 6.28 billion, according to government data released on Tuesday.
Exports in May last year stood at USD 19 billion, and in May 2019 it was at USD 29.85 billion, the data showed.
Prahalathan Iyer, Chief General Manager, Research and Analysis, India EXIM Bank said, "India’s exports for the period April-May 2021 outperformed the level of exports witnessed during the corresponding period of not only the 2020, but also that of 2019 (April – May). In fact the April-May 2021 exports have grown 12.2 per cent over the export level of April-May 2019."
Imports too grew in May 2021 by 73.64 per cent to USD 38.55 billion -- leaving a trade deficit for the month being reviewed at USD 6.28 billion.
India's imports in May 2020 were at USD 22.2 billion. In May 2019, imports stood at USD 46.68 billion. Trade deficit in May 2020 stood at USD 3.15 billion.
Iyer added, "On the other hand, though the imports in April-May 2021 have grown by 114 per cent over the corresponding value for the previous year, in absolute terms it is lower than the import of USD 86.75 billion witnessed during April-May 2019. This could be attributed to the lockdown restrictions in many parts of the country, and low consumer demand."
Exports during April-May this year jumped to USD 62.89 billion, as against USD 29.41 billion in the same period last year.
Imports during April-May 2021 were recorded at USD 84.27 billion, an increase from USD 39.32 billion in the same two months of 2020. The trade deficit during the said period came in at USD 21.38 billion as against USD 9.91 billion in April-May 2020.
Oil imports during May 2021 rose to USD 9.45 billion, as compared to USD 3.49 billion in the same month of 2020.
Gold imports increased to USD 679 million during the month under review from USD 76.31 million in May 2020.
Exports of engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery in May stood at USD 8.64 billion, USD 5.33 billion and USD 2.96 billion, respectively.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The revival of exports has happened due to the opening of international markets, resurgent demand and strong unstinted support from the Government of India on various issues. Some of the pro-industry announcements include the reduction in import duties on various rough gem and jewellery commodities viz. gold bars, silver bars, palladium, gold and silver findings etc., the revamped Gold Monetisation Scheme and extension of Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES) for Pre and Post shipment Rupee Export Credit for three months.”
In the first two months of the fiscal year 2021-22 (April-May 2021), the overall gross exports of gems and jewellery grew 4 per cent to $6.31 billion compared to $6.10 billion during the same period of pre-pandemic year 2019.
(Input from Jescilia K)