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September trade: India's exports surge in key sectors, trade deficit falls

September trade: India's exports surge in key sectors, trade deficit falls
  • India's trade deficit has reduced by 31% and amounts to USD 19.4 billion.
    Exports declined by 2.6%, which amounted to USD 34.5 billion.
  • Engineering goods exports recorded a robust growth of 6.8%

India's trade data for September 2023, released by the Commerce Ministry, revealed a small decline but on the import front, there was a more pronounced fall of 15%. Exports declined by 2.6%, which amounted to USD 34.5 billion compared to USD 35.4 billion in September 2022, while imports totalled USD 53.84 billion as against USD 63.37 billion during the same period last year.

India's trade deficit reduced by 31%, amounting to USD 19.4 billion as opposed to USD 28 billion in September 2022. The decrease in trade deficit indicates that India's imports are experiencing a more substantial reduction than its exports.

Fine print makes a positive reading

While the overall data indicates a reduction in trade figures, several key sectors showed positive signs.

Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports exhibited a growth of 1.86%, increasing from USD 24.33 billion in September 2022 to USD 24.78 billion in September 2023.

Engineering goods exports recorded a robust growth of 6.8%, climbing from USD 8.34 billion in September 2022 to USD 8.91 billion in September 2023.

Marine products saw a 4.7% increase, with exports reaching USD 0.75 billion in September 2023 compared to USD 0.72 billion in September 2022.

Electronic goods exports sector displayed remarkable growth, with a 27.6% increase at USD 13.11 billion during April-September 2023, up from USD 10.27 billion in April-September 2022.

Ceramic products and glassware segment witnessed a substantial increase of 50.5%, rising from USD 0.24 billion in September 2022 to USD 0.36 billion in September 2023.

Drugs and pharma exports continued to grow at a rate of 9.0% in September 2023, reaching USD 2.39 billion compared to USD 2.19 billion in September 2022.

Iron ore segment recorded an astonishing growth of 128% during April-September 2023, amounting to USD 1.5 billion, in stark contrast to USD 0.66 billion in April-September 2022.

Agricultural exports registered growth during April-September 2023. Spices (1.35%), Fruits & Vegetables (23.47%), Oil Seeds (3.43%), Coffee (10.67%), Cereal Preparations and Miscellaneous Processed Items (1.89%), Oil Meals (41.16%), and Tobacco (7.6%) all exhibited positive trends.

"Gems and jewellery segment is affected because of Russia-Ukraine conflict and now this Israel-Palestine war will have adverse impact. We don't see much (impact) unless and until it gets escalated over a period of time so we are waiting and watching", said Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal.

However, the gems and jewellery segment is currently experiencing challenges due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Palestine war.

The Commerce Secretary, Barthwal, commented on these issues, stating that their impact might remain limited unless the conflicts escalate over time.

The government's strategic efforts to enhance exports, including the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, have shown positive results, contributing to India's robust trade performance over the last year.

India's overall exports for the financial year 2022-2023 reached USD 775.87 billion, a substantial growth of over 14%, underscoring the nation's commitment to bolstering its trade activities, reducing import dependence, and boosting economic growth.

India-UK FTA update

Meanwhile, negotiations between India and the UK for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) continue.

These negotiations encompass 26 policy areas or chapters, with 134 rounds of discussions held since September 18. The majority of these chapters are either closed or in advanced stages of negotiation, reflecting significant progress in this bilateral economic engagement.

"UK delegation will be in India for FTA negotiation. High level engagements at various levels are ongoing to iron out differences. Majority of the chapters are either closed or are at advanced stage of negotiations. 134 Round of Negotiations continuing since 18th September 2023. Negotiations cover 26 policy areas / chapters", said Commerce Ministry.

(Text input from ANI)


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