India’s exports up 18% in October

New Delhi: India’s merchandise exports grew by 17.86 per cent in October on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Thursday.

Even on the sequential basis, India’s merchandise exports showed a robust growth in the month under review as it had declined by 2.15 per cent in September.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s October 2018 exports increased to $26.98 billion from $22.89 billion reported for the corresponding month of last year.

“Cumulative value of exports for the period April-October 2018-19 was $191.01 billion as against $168.64 billion during the period April-October 2017-18, registering a positive growth of 13.27 per cent in dollar terms,” the Ministry said in its review statement.

“Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in October 2018 were $18.94 billion, as compared to $16.54 billion in October 2017, exhibiting a positive growth of 14.54 per cent.”

As per the data, engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery and organic and inorganic chemicals and drugs and pharmaceuticals commodity groups showed a high export growth during the month under review.

On the other hand, imports in October grew by 17.62 per cent to $44.11 billion.

“Oil imports in October 2018 were $14.21 billion, which was 52.64 per cent higher in dollar terms compared to $9.31 billion in October 2017,” the statement said.

Lately, global Brent price has increased by 39.66 per cent in October 2018 vis-à-vis October 2017.

“Non-oil imports in October 2018 were estimated at $29.90 billion which was 6.05 per cent higher in dollar terms, compared to $28.19 billion in October 2017,” the statement said.

“Non-oil and non-gold imports were $28.21 billion in October 2018, recording a positive growth of 11.77 per cent, as compared to non-oil and non-gold imports in October 2017.”

Consequently, India’s merchandise trade deficit widened to $17.13 billion during last month as against $14.61 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.

“As expected, seasonal trends drove an uptick in the merchandise trade deficit from $14 billion in September 2018 to $17.1 billion in October 2018, largely in line with the average levels recorded in June-August 2018,” said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA.

“While the trade deficit related to POL items widened to $9.7 billion in October 2018 from $6.5 billion in September 2018, the non-oil trade deficit remained largely steady at $7.5 billion each in these two months. The dip in the non-oil trade deficit to $7.5 billion each in the last two months from an average of $9 billion in June-August 2018, is partly on account of lower gold imports.”