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New Delhi, April 15, 2020
India's merchandise exports dipped by 34.57 per cent to $ 21.41 billion in March 2020 from $ 32.72 billion in the same month of the previous year due to the ongoing global economic slowdown and the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, an official press release said here today.
In rupee terms, the exports fell by 29.98% to Rs. 1,59,157.98 crore in March 2020, as compared to Rs. 2,27,318.25 crore in March 2019, it said.
"The decline in exports has been mainly due to the ongoing global slowdown, which got aggravated due to the current COVID-19 crisis. The latter resulted in large scale disruptions in supply chains and demand, resulting in cancellation of orders," the release said.
Except for Iron ore, which registered a growth of 58.43%, all other commodities and commodity groups registered negative growth in March 2020 vis-a-vs March 2019, it said..
Major commodity groups which recorded negative growth during March 2020 vis-à-vis March 2019 are Oil meals (-69.85%), Meat, dairy & poultry products (-45.48%), Engineering goods (-42.32%), Gems & jewellery (-41.05%), Leather & leather products (-36.78%), Plastic & Linoleum (-35.67%), RMG of all textiles (-34.91%), Carpet (-34.72%), Mica, Coal & other ores, minerals including processed minerals (-34.06%), Tea (-33.74%), Other cereals (-33.42%), Organic & inorganic chemicals (-32.88%), Cotton yarn/fabs./made-ups, Handloom products etc. (-32.16%), Petroleum products (-31.12%) and Rice (-28.28%).
The cumulative value of exports for the period April-March 2019-20 was $ 314.31 billion (Rs. 22,26,566.71 crore) as against $ 330.08 billion (Rs. 23,07,726.19 crore) during the period April-March 2018-19, registering a negative growth of (-) 4.78% in dollar terms and (-)3.52% in rupee terms, the release said.
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in March 2020 were $ 16.90 billion, as compared to $ 25.68 billion in March 2019, exhibiting a negative growth of (-) 34.19%. Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April-March 2019-20 were $ 235.73 billion, as compared to $ 243.27 billion for the corresponding period in 2018-19, a decrease of (-) 3.10%.
Imports in March 2020 were $ 31.16 billion (Rs.2,31,710.92 crore), which was 28.72% lower in dollar terms and 23.72% lower in rupee terms as compared to $ 43.72 billion (Rs 3,03,753.76 crore) in March 2019.
The cumulative value of imports for the period April-March 2019-20 was $ 467.19 billion (Rs. 33,07,977.05 crore), as against $ 514.08 billion (Rs.35,94,674.61crore) during the period April-March 2018-19, registering a negative growth of (-) 9.12% in dollar terms and (-)7.98% in rupee terms.
Major commodity groups of import showing negative growth in March 2020 over the corresponding month of last year are Pearls, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones (-53.46%), Machinery, Electrical and Non-Electrical (-31.72%), Electric Goos (-29.09%), Coal, Coke and Briquettes, etc (-23.54%) and Petroleum, Crude and Products (-15%).
A rise in imports in March 2020 was witnessed only in transport equipment, which grew by 11.94% over March 2019.
Oil imports in March 2020 were $ 10.01 billion (Rs. 74,462.00 crore), which was 15% lower in dollar terms (9.03% lower in rupee terms), compared to $ 11.78 billion (Rs. 81,857.53 crore) in March 2019. Oil imports in April-March 2019-20 were $ 129.43 billion (Rs. 9,17,306.25 crore) which was 8.15% lower in dollar terms (6.99% lower in rupee terms) compared to $ 140.92 billion (Rs. 9,86,275.06 crore) as compared to the same period last year.
The release pointed out that the global Brent price ($/bbl) decreased by 50.34% in March 2020 vis-à-vis March 2019 as per data available from World Bank.
Non-oil imports in March 2020 were estimated at $ 21.15 billion (Rs. 1,57,248.92 crore) which was 33.78% lower in dollar terms (29.13% lower in rupee terms), compared to $ 31.94 billion (Rs. 2,21,896.23 crore) in March 2019.
Non-oil imports in April-March 2019-20 were $ 337.76 billion (Rs. 23,90,670.80 crore) which was 9.49% lower in dollar terms (8.35% in rupee terms), compared to $ 373.16 billion (Rs. 26,08,399.55 crore) in April-March 2018-19.
Non-oil and non-gold imports were $ 19.92 billion in March 2020, recording a negative growth of (-) 30.47% as compared to $ 28.65 billion in March 2019. Non-oil and non-gold imports were $ 309.53 billion in April-March 2019-20, recording a negative growth of (-) 9.03% as compared to $ 340.25 billion in April-March 2018-19.
As far as trade in services was concerned, exports in February 2020, the latest month for which figures were available from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), were up 6.88% at $ 17.73 billion as compared to the same month of the previous year.
The estimated value of services export for March 2020 is $ 17.69 billion, the release said.
Imports of services in February 2020 were $ 11.07billion, a growth of 12.82% over February 2019. The estimated value of service import for March 2029 is $ 10.97 billion, it said.
The trade deficit for merchandise for March2020 was estimated at $ 9.76 billion as against the deficit of $ 11 billion in March 2019. The trade balance in services for February 2020 is estimated at $ 6.6 billion.
Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade deficit for April-March 2019-20 is estimated at $ 70.16billion as compared to $ 103.32 billion in April-March 2018-19, the release added.