Shipments of goods from India have seen an enormous year-on-year surge of 197% in April, rising to $30.21 billion, according to preliminary data released by the commerce and industry ministry.
The explosive growth, led by increased sales of gems and jewelry, as well as engineering goods and petroleum products, has been attributed to the so-called low-base effect, as last year’s figure dropped to $10.36 billion, after a sharp contraction of more than 60% due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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However, the first month of exports for the 2021-22 period grew over 16% compared to $26.04 billion recorded in the same period in 2019, as a low base was also aided by strong demand in the first month of the current fiscal year.
Jute, carpet, handicrafts, leather, electronic goods, oil meals, cashew, marine products and chemicals are also named among major export commodities that recorded positive growth in April.
At the same time, country’s imports surged nearly 166% to $45.45 billion, thus widening the trade deficit to more than $15 billion during April. The shortfall was up 120.34% against the same period a year ago. Imports in April grew 7.2% compared to the same early-pandemic period.
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“India is thus a net importer in April with a trade deficit of $15.24 billion, which increased by 120.34% over the trade deficit of $6.92 billion in April 2020,” the ministry said.
Non-oil, non-gold, silver and precious metals imports, which are seen as a measure of the strength of domestic demand, jumped by more than 111%, with petroleum, gold and electronic goods among the top importer sectors.
Gold imports in April saw a massive growth of around 216,000% compared with the same period last year.
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