India's Trade Deficit Narrows to $20.58 bn in November, Imports Drop 4.3%

  • Industry News
  • Dec 18,23
Conversely, exports experienced a more modest contraction of 2.8%, reaching $33.90 billion, down from $34.89 billion in the corresponding period last year.
India's Trade Deficit Narrows to $20.58 bn in November, Imports Drop 4.3%

In November, India's trade balance revealed a reduction in the merchandise trade deficit, amounting to $20.58 billion, according to government data released. This decline was primarily driven by a 4.3% decrease in imports, totalling $54.48 billion compared to the previous year's $56.95 billion for the same month.

Conversely, exports experienced a more modest contraction of 2.8%, reaching $33.90 billion, down from $34.89 billion in the corresponding period last year. The trade deficit represents the difference between a country's imports and exports over a specified time frame.

For the current fiscal year from April to November, exports saw a decline of 6.51%, totalling-- $278.8 billion. Simultaneously, imports witnessed a downturn of 8.67%, reaching $445.15 billion over the eight-month span.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal expressed optimism about India's export performance, highlighting its resilience amid the global economic slowdown. In October, merchandise exports experienced a notable increase of 6.21%, reaching $33.57 billion.

Despite this positive trend, it's noteworthy that the trade deficit expanded to a record high of $31.46 billion for the same period. Back in October, Barthwal characterised the trade numbers as indicative of "green shoots," signalling signs of recovery in outbound shipments.

"I am hopeful that we will be crossing last year's figures. The positive growth is there despite a fall in commodity prices, but we are waiting and watching" the global situation," he said.

Currently, the export sector faces challenges arising from the geopolitical landscape and other factors such as elevated inflation, economic deceleration in advanced economies, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, tensions between China and Taiwan, China-US relations, and the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

From February to July, the nation's exports experienced a downturn. Following a re-evaluation of figures by the commerce ministry, there was a 3.88% positive growth in shipments in August. However, in September, there was a contraction of 2.6%. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) predicts a modest 0.8% growth in global trade for the year 2023.

Source: Mint

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