India trade deficit narrows to $13 billion in June
Mumbai: India’s merchandise exports grew marginally year-on-year in June, signalling tepid global demand.
Data released by commerce ministry on Friday showed that exports grew by 4.39% in June to $23.56 billion and imports rose by 19.01% to $36.52 billion from the same month last year. The trade gap in the month narrowed to $12.96 billion from $13.8 billion in May.
Rice, marine products and engineering goods contributed the maximum to the higher exports, increasing by 27.29%, 24.27% and 14.78%, respectively.
Gold imports in June more than doubled to $2.45 billion compared to from $1.2 billion a year ago. Among imports, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (86.31%) and petroleum products (12.4%) surged the most apart from gold (103%).
Pulses worth Rs.2,268 crore were imported in June compared to Rs.2,131 crore in the same month.
“The continued growth in imports of pulses despite the record harvest and decline in prices is somewhat surprising... A contraction in services imports contributed to a 5% rise in the services trade surplus to $5.81 billion in May, even as services exports largely stagnated at the year-ago level,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA Ltd.
India’s merchandise trade deficit in the first quarter of the financial year has more than doubled to $40 billion compared to $19.23 billion in the year-ago period.
According to Nayar, the current account deficit will spike to $15-16 billion in first quarter of the financial year from a marginal $0.3 billion recorded a year ago, rivalling the size of the deficit recorded over the four quarters of the previous fiscal.
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