The decrease in trade deficit indicates that India’s imports are experiencing a more substantial reduction than its exports
India’s trade data for September 2023, released by the Commerce Ministry, reveals a decline in exports by 2.6 per cent, which amounted to USD 34.5 billion compared to USD 35.4 billion in September 2022.
“UK delegation will be in India for FTA negotiation. High-level engagements at various levels are ongoing to iron out differences. The majority of the chapters are either closed or are at an advanced stage of negotiations. 134 Round of Negotiations continuing since 18th September 2023. Negotiations cover 26 policy areas/chapters”, said the Commerce Ministry.
On the import front, there was a more pronounced decline of 15 per cent, with imports totalling USD 53.84 billion as against USD 63.37 billion during the same period last year.
While the overall data indicates a reduction in trade figures, several key sectors showed positive signs.
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports exhibited a growth of 1.86 per cent, increasing from USD 24.33 billion in September 2022 to USD 24.78 billion in September 2023.
Engineering goods exports recorded a robust growth of 6.8 per cent, climbing from USD 8.34 billion in September 2022 to USD 8.91 billion in September 2023.
Marine products saw a 4.7 per cent increase, with exports reaching USD 0.75 billion in September 2023 compared to USD 0.72 billion in September 2022.
The electronic goods exports sector displayed remarkable growth, with a 27.6 per cent increase at USD 13.11 billion during April-September 2023, up from USD 10.27 billion in April-September 2022.
The ceramic products and glassware segment witnessed a substantial increase of 50.5 per cent, rising from USD 0.24 billion in September 2022 to USD 0.36 billion in September 2023.
Drugs and pharma exports continued to grow at a rate of 9.0 per cent in September 2023, reaching USD 2.39 billion compared to USD 2.19 billion in September 2022.
Iron ore segment recorded an astonishing growth of 128 per cent during April-September 2023, amounting to USD 1.5 billion, in stark contrast to USD 0.66 billion in April-September 2022.
Agricultural exports registered growth during April-September 2023. Spices (1.35 per cent), Fruits & Vegetables (23.47 per cent), Oil Seeds (3.43 per cent), Coffee (10.67 per cent), Cereal Preparations and Miscellaneous Processed Items (1.89 per cent), Oil Meals (41.16 per cent), and Tobacco (7.6 per cent) all exhibited positive trends.
In a development, the trade deficit was reduced by 31 per cent, amounting to USD 19.4 billion as opposed to USD 28 billion in September 2022.
The decrease in trade deficit indicates that India’s imports are experiencing a more substantial reduction than its exports.
Meanwhile, negotiations between India and the UK for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) continue.
These negotiations encompass 26 policy areas or chapters, with 134 rounds of discussions held since 18 September. The majority of these chapters are either closed or in advanced stages of negotiation, reflecting significant progress in this bilateral economic engagement.
“Gems and jewellery segment is affected because of Russia-Ukraine conflict and now this Israel-Palestine war will have adverse impact. We don’t see much (impact) unless and until it gets escalated over a period of time so we are waiting and watching”, said Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal.
However, the gems and jewellery segment is currently experiencing challenges due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Palestine war.
The Commerce Secretary, Barthwal, commented on these issues, stating that their impact might remain limited unless the conflicts escalate over time.
The government’s strategic efforts to enhance exports, including the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, have shown positive results, contributing to India’s robust trade performance over the last year.
India’s overall exports for the financial year 2022-2023 reached USD 775.87 billion, a substantial growth of over 14 per cent, underscoring the nation’s commitment to bolstering its trade activities, reducing import dependence, and boosting economic growth. (ANI)