Let us remember that in September, after registering positive growth, exports in India fell by 5.4% to USD 28.82 billion in October. This has been due to the fall in shipments of products derived from gems and jewelry, oil, leather and engineering items.
In October, the trade deficit narrowed to $8.78 billion from $11.76 billion, this is because imports also fell by 11.56 percent to $33.6 billion during the month under review.
“India’s merchandise exports in October 2020 were US$ 24.82 billion, compared to US$ 26.23 billion in October 2019, showing a drop of 5.4 percent,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
The exported products that registered a negative growth during the month of October included oil products (53.30 percent), cashew nuts (21.57 percent), gems and jewelry (21.27 percent), leather (16.69 percent), yarn/ fabric/man-made items. ups (12.82 percent), electronic products (9.40 percent), coffee (9.25 percent), marine products (8.09 percent) and engineering items (3.84 percent).
On the other hand, the sectors that showed positive growth were:
– Oilseed meals
– Iron Ore
– Oil seeds
– Chemical products
In the period April-October 2020, exports decreased by 19.05 percent to USD 150.07 billion, while imports fell by 36.28 percent over the same period last year to USD 182.29 billion.
Oil imports fell 38.52 percent to $5.98 billion in October. During April-October, it decreased by 49.5 percent to USD 37.84 billion.
After contracting for six consecutive months, India’s exports increased by 5.99 percent to $27.58 billion in September.
Sharad Kumar Saraf, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), said the nominal decline in exports during the month was mainly due to the huge shortage of containers and the rise in ocean freight, which disrupted exports, particularly for those who have traded in CIF (Cost, Insurance , Freight) or C&F (Cost and Freight).
In addition, agitation by farmers in some of the inland states also affected exports during October, he said.
“… as the U.S. election process comes to an end, with the upcoming Christmas and New Year season, both the global and Indian economies are expected to experience an economic upturn. Exporters have been continuously receiving many inquiries and orders, adding to the positive sentiments with signs of increased resilience in the global supply chain,” he added.
Mohit Singla, founding chairman of the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), said that agricultural and food products recorded positive growth, representing continued demand for Indian food and agricultural products globally, even though demand for other traditional products is declining.
“The time has come for India to become the global food basket of the world, as India has witnessed two bumper crops and Indian industry is already capitalizing on the advantage fully despite the difficult times,” Singla added.