India’s trade deficit, the gap between exports and imports, widened 36.36 per cent from a year ago at $12 billion in February 2018, but narrowed from an over four-year high of $16.29 billion recorded in January.
India’s exports rose 4.5 per cent year-on-year to $25.8 billion in February, while imports grew 10.4 percent to $37.8 billion in the same period. The government is looking at a 6.5 percent export growth for the year, the union commerce ministry said in a press release.
The growth in exports was led by increasing outbound shipments of petroleum products, and organic, inorganic chemicals. Outbound shipments of petroleum products went up 27.44 per cent to $3.23 billion in February. Export of organic and inorganic chemicals rose 30.41 per cent to $1.66 billion.
Exports of gems and jewellery, which is typically the second major contributor to the bill, declined 5.14 per cent to $3.81 billion in February. Engineering goods exports also saw a marginal decline last month.
India’s textile exports too dropped 10.25 per cent to $1.44 billion during the month.
In the previous quarter (October-December 2017), according to government data, trade deficit widened to nearly $43 billion from $32 billion in the July-September 2017 period.