The country’s exports grew marginally to $ 27.15 billion in December 2020, while imports surged 7.56 per cent, increasing the trade deficit to $ 15.44 billion, government data showed on Friday, January 15. With this, exports entered the positive zone after a gap of two months. Imports during the month were estimated at $ 42.59 billion, driven by inbound shipments of gold, which rose sharply by 81.82 per cent to $ 4.48 billion. The trade deficit for December 2020 was estimated at $15.44 billion as against the deficit of $ 12.49 billion in December 2019, which is an increase of 23.66 per cent. The exports growth was in the negative territory in October and November this year. (Also Read: India A Net Importer In December As Trade Deficit Widens To $15.71 Billion )
The data revealed that exports of petroleum products contracted 35.35 per cent to $ 2.34 billion in December 2020, while that of readymade garments shrank 15.05 per cent to $ 1.19 billion. However, exports of electronic goods grew by 16.51 per cent to $ 1.25 billion and of chemicals by 10.79 per cent to nearly $ 2 billion. If the merchandise and services are combined, the country’s overall exports in the April-December period stood at $ 348.49 billion, a decline of 12.65 per cent over the corresponding period in 2019.
Additionally, the outward shipments of rice, tea, spices as well as oil meals too were higher in December 2020 as compared to the corresponding month of 2019. The cumulative value of exports for the April-December period was $ 200.80 billion as compared to $ 238.27 billion during the corresponding period in 2019, registering a decline of 15.73 per cent. The overall imports in the April-December period were estimated to be $ 343.27 billion, reflecting negative growth of 25.86 per cent on an annual basis.
Commenting on the exports and trade deficit data, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf stated that the monthly exports have moved towards positive territory as major products show signs of further revival as expected. Meanwhile, it was recently reported that India was a net importer in December 2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.