NEW DELHI: India posted a trade surplus of $790 million in June, its first in over 18 years, with imports plunging as the coronavirus pandemic hit domestic demand for crude oil, gold and other industrial products, government data showed on Wednesday.
Merchandise imports contracted 47.59% in June to $21.11 billion from a year ago, while exports fell 12.41% to $21.91 billion, leading to a marginal trade surplus, data released by the ministry of commerce and industry showed.
India last posted a trade surplus – of $10 million – in January 2002, according to Refinitiv data.
Commenting on the numbers, Indian Oilseeds and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC) chairman Khushwant Jain said that oil seed exports are recording growth on account of healthy output and steps taken by the government to promote shipments.
“The growth rate will continue in the coming months also. The commerce ministry is resolving all our issues,” Jain said.
Oil imports declined by 55.29 per cent to $4.93 billion in June. While, gold imports plunged 77.42 per cent to $608.7 million.
Mohit Singla, the chairman of Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) said as the forward and backward linkages of economic activity are gradually repairing, the supply shock is fading and thus making produce readily available to meet demand.
“Many workers are returning back to work mainly in the manufacturing sector which is normalising the manufacturing activities and thus preparing industry to meet the global demand,” Singla said.
During April-June 2020, exports fell by 36.71 per cent to $51.32 billion while imports shrank by 52.43 per cent to $60.44 billion. The trade deficit stood at $9.12 billion during April-June.
Since 2011-12, India’s exports have been hovering at around $300 billion. During 2017-18, the overseas shipments grew by about 10 per cent to $303 billion and further to $330.08 billion in 2018-19 and $314.31 billion in 2019-20.

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