Exporters concerned over unfolding trade tussle between the US and China
India’s year-on-year export growth jumped 17.57 per cent to $27.7 billion in June riding on a surge in exports of chemicals, electronics, petroleum products, cotton yarn and handloom and pharmaceuticals.
However, trade deficit widened to 43-month high of $16.60 billion compared to $12.96 billion in the same month last year, as imports increased at a sharper rate of 21.31 per cent to $44.30 billion.
Exporters were largely positive about the rebound in export growth, but some expressed concern over the growing tension in trade relations between key countries. “We must be watchful of the unfolding tariff war between the US and China. We should not be caught in the cross fire. Instead, India must devise its own strategy to deal with the fast changing global trade environment to maintain a smart growth in our exports,” said Ravi Sehgal from the Engineering Export Promotion Council.
Other items which witnessed an increase in export growth included gems and jewellery, ceramic products & glassware, coal, iron ore, fruits and vegetables and spices.
Readymade garments exports, a major item in the country’s export basket, fell yet again in June, posting a decline of 12.34 per cent to $1.3 billion. Earlier this month, the Textiles Ministry had sought assistance from the Commerce Ministry to put exporters of garments, hit by GST woes, back into business.
The sharp increase in imports for the month was led by petroleum, machinery, chemicals, iron & steel and coal.
Oil imports during June, valued at $12.73 billion, was 56.61 per cent higher than oil imports in June 2017. Non-oil imports grew 11.20 per cent to $31.58 billion in June 2018.
Total exports in the first quarter of the current fiscal (April-June FY19) grew 14.21 per cent to $ 82.47 billion compared to the first quarter exports of the previous fiscal.
Total imports for the period April-June 2018-19 were $127.41 billion which was 13.49 per cent higher than imports in the first quarter of 2017-18.
Trade deficit in the first quarter of the current fiscal was $ 44.94 billion, which was slightly higher than the trade deficit in April-June 2017-18 at $ 40.05 billion.