Goods exports dip 1.6% to $25.97 b in Jan; trade deficit at $15.17 billion

Coronavirus outbreak, persisting protectionism add to exporters’ woes


The country’s goods exports posted a decline for the sixth consecutive month falling 1.66 per cent to $25.97 billion in January with high-value items such as ready-made garments and gems & jewellery continuing to slide.

Imports for the month was a tad lower at $ 41.14 billion due to fall in gold and silver, coal and iron & steel imports.

The trade deficit in January was at $15.17 billion, almost at the same level as in January 2019, according to an official release circulated by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Friday.

Exporters’ body FIEO said the slowing down of the Chinese economy due to the coronavirus outbreak in that country added to persisting protectionism in most nations and liquidity concerns increased their troubles. “Only 10 out of the 30 major product groups were in the positive territory in January and this included electronic goods, drugs & pharmaceuticals and organic & inorganic chemicals. However, all other major sectors of exports, including almost all labour-intensive sectors, are still in negative territory,” a statement from FIEO said.

The country’s total goods exports in April-January 2019-20 was at $265.26 billion, 1.93 per cent lower than exports in the same period last fiscal. Imports in the April-January 2019-20 period was 8.12 per cent lower at $398.53 billion.

India’s exports touched a high of $331 billion last year posting a 9 per cent growth. The previous high was in 2013-14 at $314 billion. Since then exports have been fluctuating in response to a global slowdown.