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India's FY24 merchandise exports fall by 3% to $437 billion; 5.4% drop in imports helps narrow trade deficit
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

India's FY24 merchandise exports fall by 3% to $437 billion; 5.4% drop in imports helps narrow trade deficit

| @indiablooms | 17 Apr 2024, 12:57 am

New Delhi: India's merchandise exports plummeted by 3% to $437 billion in the previous fiscal year, despite a fourth-quarter uptick.

Imports also fell by 5.4% to $677 billion, contributing to a reduced trade deficit of $240 billion in FY24, compared to almost $265 billion in the preceding year.

In March, merchandise exports are approximated to have dropped by 0.7% to $41.7 billion, with imports decreasing by nearly 6% to $57.3 billion.

This resulted in a trade deficit of $15.6 billion, marking the lowest since last May, as per the latest data unveiled by the commerce department on Monday.

For the entire fiscal year, a historic high of $776.7 billion in goods and services exports is projected, while combined imports are estimated at around $855 billion.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal told the media that goods and services exports had surpassed the previous year's level of $776.4 billion despite facing numerous challenges.

He noted that although there was a slight decline in merchandise (goods) exports, it was considerably lower than expected.

Barthwal further stated that they had entered a positive cycle of growth.

There was some positive news for the government due to the improvement of the trade balance with China due to the increase in exports of iron ore and cotton yarn, which elevated the value of shipments, while imports from China to India contracted.

Petroleum products experienced the most significant hit in export performance, dropping by 14% to $84 billion in the last fiscal year, largely attributed to the decrease in global prices.

Conversely, electronics and pharmaceuticals emerged as standout performers.

With the surge in phone exports, electronics goods witnessed a notable increase of 23.6% to surpass $29 billion, while pharmaceutical shipments from the country are estimated to have grown by 9.7% to reach $27.8 billion.

Engineering goods shipments reached $109 billion, marking a modest rise of 2.1%.

On the import side, crude imports saw a significant decrease of 14%, amounting to 179.6 billion.

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