November 16, 2023
Goods exports reached US$ 33.6 billion in October FY24
Goods imports increased by 2.3% from the previous year
In the previous fiscal year (2022-23), India's goods exports had exceeded US$ 450 billion
In August, exports reached a five-month high of US$ 38.4 billion
India experienced a 6.2% growth in goods exports in October FY24, marking the second increase of the year and reaching US$ 33.6 billion. However, imports surged to an unprecedented high of US$ 65.03 billion, reflecting a 12.3% increase from the previous year, driven primarily by a notable influx of gold.
Consequently, India’s monthly goods trade deficit reached a historic peak of US$ 31.46 billion, surpassing the previous record set in September 2022 at US$ 29.23 billion. The value of outbound shipments in October was the lowest since the preceding November, falling 2.5% below September’s total.
In the previous fiscal year (2022-23), India’s goods exports had exceeded US$ 450 billion. However, provisional Commerce Ministry data indicates that merchandise exports between April and October of the current fiscal year stand at nearly US$ 245 billion, reflecting a 7% decrease compared to last year. Officials emphasised that while the volumes of exports for certain commodities have either remained stable or increased, lower prices compared to the previous year have contributed to a decline in overall shipment values.
October’s 6.2% increase in goods exports represents only the second instance of a rise in overseas shipments in the past nine months. In August, exports reached a five-month high of US$ 38.4 billion, reflecting a 3.8% growth compared to the previous year.
The surge in October’s imports, exceeding US$ 65 billion and a 20.8% increase from September, was partly attributed to a substantial rise in gold imports, soaring by 95.4% to US$ 7.2 billion. Analysts noted that other factors, including oil, electronics, gems, and jewellery, also contributed to the record import bill. Experts highlighted a broad-based increase in imports, driven by the rise in crude oil prices, demand during the wedding and festive seasons, and increased imports of items like electronics, gems and jewellery.
Economists anticipate a potential normalisation in the widening trade deficit next month, as the import surge may subside. They projected a trade deficit of US$ 22-25 billion for the current month, anticipating a moderation in non-oil imports in November and a decrease in exports due to an increased number of holidays.
Source: The Hindu