Trade deficit hits 43-month high

Exports grew by 18% to nearly $28 billion in June on account of healthy growth in sectors such as petroleum and chemicals but trade deficit widened to a 43-month high of nearly $17 billion due to costlier crude oil imports. Imports rose by 21.3% to $44.3 billion during the month.

The trade deficit in June 2018 is the highest since November 2014 when the gap was $16.9 billion. The deficit in June 2017 stood at close to $13 billion. During April-June this fiscal, exports rose by 14.2% to $82.5 billion. Exports of petroleum products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, and engineering goods registered a positive growth. However, shipments of textiles, leather, marine products, poultry, cashew, rice and coffee recorded negative growth.

Imports during the first quarter of the fiscal increased by 13.5% to $127.4 billion. Trade deficit during the period widened to nearly $45 billion as against $40 billion in April-June 2017. Oil imports during the month were up by 57% to $12.7 billion. These imports during April-June 2018-19 were valued at $34.6 billion which was 49.4% higher as compared to the same period last year. 

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