India’s merchandise exports rise 6.21 pc in Oct, trade deficit at $ 31.46 bln

New Delhi, Nov 15 (FN Bureau) Showing signs of green shoots, India’s merchandise exports rose 6.21% year-on-year to $ 33.57 billion in October 2023 as compared to $ 31.60 billion in October 2022. During this period, imports also recorded positive growth and stood at $ 65.03 billion as against $ 57.91 billion in October 2022. India’s merchandise trade deficit in October 2023 was at $ 31.46 billion. “Given the shift in the festive calendar, we had expected the merchandise trade deficit to enlarge to $ 22.8 billion in October 2023. The higher than anticipated merchandise trade deficit was on account of gold, oil as well as balance imports, with exports broadly in line with our forecast,” said ICRA Chief Economist Aditi Nayar.

“Non oil imports should moderate in November, as would exports, given a higher number of holidays. We foresee the trade deficit for the current month at US$ 22-25 billion,” she further said. Among the major commodity groups which recorded positive growth in exports included engineering goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, iron ore, oilseeds, cereal preparations and electronic goods. “Merchandise exports for the period April-October 2023 were $ 244.89 billion as against $ 263.33 billion during April-October 2022,” Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a release. As per the official data, merchandise imports for the period April-October 2023 were $ 391.96 billion as against $ 430.47 billion during April-October 2022. The merchandise trade deficit for April-October 2023 was estimated at $ 147.07 billion as against $ 167.14 billion during April-October 2022.

“Non-petroleum and non-gems & jewellery exports during April-October 2023 was $ 178.42 billion, as compared to $ 182.24 billion in April-October 2022,” the official release said. Non-petroleum, non-gems & jewellery (gold, silver & precious metals) imports were $ 246.50 billion in April-October 2023 as compared to $ 260.01 billion in April-October 2022. India’s overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in October 2023 is estimated to be $ 62.26 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 9.43% over October 2022. Overall imports in October 2023 is estimated to be $ 79.35 billion, up 11.10% year-on-year.