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Fifth straight month of expansion: Exports up 4.32% in Jan, imports rise faster at 10.7%

Gold imports stand at $2.04 billion, down 29.94% from the year-ago month

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
February 16, 2017 1:26:47 am

India’s merchandise exports grew 4.32 per cent to $22.11 billion in January on the back of raw material shipments, including petroleum products and iron ore.

This was the fifth straight month of expansion of exports — albeit at a slower pace than the previous month — which indicates demonetisation’s impact on India’s external trade has been marginal. Despite a slippage in gold imports, attributable to the note swap, imports rose a robust 10.7 per cent to $31.96 billion, precipitating a trade deficit of $9.84 billion, higher than $7.66 billion in the corresponding month a year ago.

The rate of growth of non-oil-non-gold imports was 4.2 per cent in January 2017, against 4.4 per cent in the previous month, aided by 47 per cent increase in coal imports. Gold imports in January stood at $2.04 billion, down 29.94 per cent from the year-ago month. Iron and steel imports also fell by 1.08 per cent in January, aided by government policies to restrict cheap imports.

Non-petroleum exports in January were valued at $19.42 billion against $19.11 billion year-on-year, an increase of just 1.6 per cent. Exports totalled $220.92 billion for the April-January period of the current fiscal, up about 1 per cent over the year-ago shipments.

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Responding to the trade data for the month of January 2017, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president

S C Ralhan said while continuous positive growth in exports for the last five months is encouraging, the slowdown in global trade was affecting the exports equally.

“Going by the current trend, we are expected to reach around $270 billion (exports) this fiscal,” Ralhan said.

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India’s export growth is in tandem with global trade growth which is expected to be around 1.7 per cent in 2016. Ralhan added that increasing protectionism, volatility in currencies and uncertainties clouding over global economy pose major challenges for export sector in 2017.

Iron ore exports jumped over 10 times to $184.43 million in January year-on-year. Export of petroleum products increased from $2.08 billion to $ 2.69 billion, a rise of 28.96 per cent. Shipments of engineering goods from India rose to $5.45 billion, up 11.89 per cent. Services exports touched $13.8 billion in December from a year ago; services imports, however, rose to $8.3 billion in December.

FE

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First published on: 16-02-2017 at 01:26:47 am
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