India's exports fell for the fifteenth month running in February but the smallest decline in more than a year raised hope that things may begin to look up soon. Exports fell 5.6% in February from a year earlier to $20.73 billion, the slowest decline since December 2014 when shipments fell 3.77%.
With imports declining 5.03% year-on-year in February , the trade deficit narrowed to a year's low. The commerce ministry in a statement said, “The trend of falling exports is in tandem with other major world economies.“
The industry , however, warned against reading too much into the lower decline.
In the first 11 months of the current financial year, India's exports were $238.4 billion compared with $286.3 billion in the same period last year. Of the 30 export sec tors, 16 registered growth amid subdued global demand and softening commodity prices. After `other cereals', oil meal exports posted the steepest decline at 75.5%, while iron ore shipments fell 41.25%. The slow global recovery has impacted global trade adversely . China's exports plummeted 25.4% on year to $126.3 billion in February , the lowest in six years. The trade deficit of $7.63 billion lowest after the February 2015 number of $6.54 billion.
Gold imports declined almost 29.5% to $1.39 billion last month compared with an 85% increase in January, contributing to the overall fall in imports.
Services exports for January were $12.5 billion, down 12% from $14 billion in December while January imports were $6.8 billion leaving a services trade surplus of $5.7 billion.