Exports rise in August as trade deficit widens

New Delhi : India’s exports grew to $23.81 billion in August this year, from $22.5 billion in July and $21.59 billion during the corresponding month of last year, official data showed on Friday. According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, exports during August on year-on-year (YoY) basis exhibited a growth of 10.29 per cent to $23.81 billion from $21.59 billion reported for the corresponding month of last year. “In continuation with the positive growth exhibited by exports for the last twelve months, exports during August, 2017 have shown growth of 10.29 per cent in dollar terms valued at $23,818.83 million as compared to $21,597.09 million during August, 2016,” the ministry said in a statement.

“During August, 2017, major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of last year are engineering goods (19.53 per cent), petroleum products (36.56 per cent), organic and inorganic chemicals (32.41 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (4.21 per cent), and RMG of all textiles (0.56 per cent).”

However, the country’s imports during the month under review also increased by 21.02 per cent to $35.46 billion from $29.30 billion. “Major commodity group of imports showing high growth in August, 2017 over the corresponding month of last year are petroleum, crude and products (14.22), electronic goods (27.44), machinery, electrical and non-electrical (18.35), gold (68.90) and pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (30.88),” the statement said. Segment-wise, the data showed that India’s oil imports during August increased by 14.22 per cent to $7.75 billion, from $6.78 billion in the same month last year.

  “The global Brent prices ($/bbl) have increased by 11.34 per cent in August, 2017 vis-Ã -vis August, 2016 as per World Bank commodity price data,” the statement added. The non-oil imports during August, 2017 were estimated at $27.70 billion which was 23.07 per cent higher from $22.51 billion shipped in during the corresponding month of 2016.

CAD goes up sharply to 2.4% of GDP in Q1

India’s current account deficit (CAD) rose sharply to $14.3 billion — or 2.4 per cent of GDP — at the end of first quarter of 2017-18, mainly on account of an increased trade gap. CAD stood at $0.4 billion, or 0.1 per cent of GDP, in April-June of 2016-17. The figure compares with $3.4 billion (0.6 per cent) for the quarter ended March 2017. “The widening of CAD on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit ($41.2 billion) brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports,” said the Reserve Bank (RBI) while issuing the document on Developments in India’s Balance of Payments during April-June of 2017-18.

In general terms, CAD refers to the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange that has a bearing on exchange rate.

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