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India’s trade gap highest in two years

Trade deficit for December 2020 was estimated at $15.44 billion against the deficit of $12.49 billion in December 2019, which is an increase of 23.66 per cent
“The sharp rise in merchandise trade deficit to a 25-month high of $15.4 billion in December 2020 was driven by the surge in non-oil imports that was exaggerated by pent-up demand. In an encouraging sign, the growth in non-oil exports improved to 5.6 per cent in the quarter-ending month, reversing the dips seen in the previous two months,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist, Icra.
“The sharp rise in merchandise trade deficit to a 25-month high of $15.4 billion in December 2020 was driven by the surge in non-oil imports that was exaggerated by pent-up demand. In an encouraging sign, the growth in non-oil exports improved to 5.6 per cent in the quarter-ending month, reversing the dips seen in the previous two months,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist, Icra.
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Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 16.01.21, 02:55 AM

India’s exports rose marginally to $27.15 billion in December 2020, while imports surged 7.56 per cent to $42.59 billion, official data showed on Friday. The merchandise exports were valued at $27.11 billion in December 2019, while imports had totalled $39.59 billion.

“Trade deficit for December 2020 was estimated at $15.44 billion against the deficit of $12.49 billion in December 2019, which is an increase of 23.66 per cent,” according to the government data.

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“The sharp rise in merchandise trade deficit to a 25-month high of $15.4 billion in December 2020 was driven by the surge in non-oil imports that was exaggerated by pent-up demand. In an encouraging sign, the growth in non-oil exports improved to 5.6 per cent in the quarter-ending month, reversing the dips seen in the previous two months,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist, Icra.

“Gold imports rose to the highest level since May 2019, amid the easing of restrictions that drove wedding season demand. We expect the pace of growth of gold imports to temper to an extent in the fourth quarter of FY2021, with a satiation of pent-up demand.”

Major Indian export items that helped India’s outbound shipments turn the corner include gems and jewellery (up 6.75 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (17.47 per cent), chemicals (10.8 per cent), engineering goods (0.3 per cent) and electronic goods (16.51%) while the sharp contraction in the exports of readymade garments (-15 per cent) and petroleum products (-35.35 per cent) kept overall exports growth minimal.

Gold (81.82 per cent), vegetable oils (43.5 per cent), chemicals (23.3 per cent), artificial resins (32.27 per cent), iron and steel (12.67 per cent), non-ferrous metal (28.1 per cent) saw significant rise.



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