India's January merchandise exports rose over 6.16 per cent on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Tuesday.
The country's merchandise exports during the month under review grew to $27.45 billion from $25.85 billion in January 2020.
"Non-petroleum and Non-gems and jewellery exports in January 2021 were USD 22.44 billion, as compared to USD 19.79 billion in January 2020, registering a positive growth of 13.40 per cent," a Ministry of Commerce and Industry statement said.
"Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April-January 2020-21 were USD 188.77 billion, as compared to USD 197.94 billion for the corresponding period in 2019-20, which is a decrease of (-) 4.63 per cent."
In terms of imports, India's inbound shipments in January 2021 increased by 2.03 per cent to $41.99 billion from $41.15 billion during the corresponding period of 2020.
"Cumulative value of imports for the period April-January 2020-21 was USD 300.26 billion as against USD 405.33 billion during the period April-January 2019-20, registering a negative growth of (-) 25.92 per cent in dollar terms."
Last month, oil imports were $9.40 billion, as compared to $13.01 billion in January 2020, a decline of 27.72 per cent.
"Non-oil and non-gold imports were USD 28.55 billion in January 2021, recording a positive growth of 7.50 per cent, as compared to non-oil and non-gold imports of USD 26.56 billion in January 2020."
Consequently, India's trade deficit stood at $14.54 billion in January 2021.
However, on a year-on-year basis, the deficit declined by 4.95 per cent on a year-on-year basis from $15.30 billion reported for January 2020.
"With the revival in merchandise imports, the trade deficit rose to $14.5 billion in January 2021, only a shade lower than the substantial $15.3 billion that had been recorded in January 2020," ICRA's Principal Economist Aditi Nayar said.
"The trade deficit has sustained at a high level for the second consecutive month, which is a testament to the recovery in domestic demand, as well as the impact of higher commodity prices following the resurgence in global confidence. In our view, there is a growing likelihood that the Indian economy is set to revert to a current account deficit in both Q3 FY2021 and Q4 FY2021."
FIEO President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that monthly exports further moved northward towards positive territory with almost all major export category products showing impressive growth with signs of further revival.
"Positive growth of about 6.16 percent with USD 27.45 billion of exports show not only signs of better order booking position but further improvement in coming months and the new fiscal," Saraf was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines have also led to bring both life and economy back on growth trajectory with a V-shaped recovery projected not only in world trade but the Indian economy as well. The Union Budget 2021-22 has also rightly put its focus on infrastructure to revive the economy, address the job loss and support the industries providing inputs for infrastructure at a time when it was most needed."