Trade Deficit @ 5-year Low

India's trade deficit narrowed to a five-year low of $4.8 billion in the first month of the current financial year, led by a sharp fall in gold imports due to a nationwide strike by jewellers protesting against the proposed 1% excise duty and a decrease in inbound oil shipments.
Exports declined for the 17th straight month, with shipments dropping 6.74% to $20.56 billion in April, while imports fell 23.1% to $25.4 billion, dragged down by lower oil imports. The trade deficit shrank for the fourth consecutive month.
Gold imports declined 60.47% to $1.23 billion. Oil purchased from overseas was valued at $5.66 billion, 24% lower than a year ago, whereas non oil imports dipped 22.83% to $19.76 billion.
Iron ore exports grew the sharpest to $54.52 million from $1.82 million a year ago. The reduced import bill for April is also attributed to a drop in shipments of coal, iron & steel, fertiliser, machinery , project goods and transport equipment. Non-oil, non-gold imports, seen as a measure of domestic demand, fell 17.6% to $18.51 billion.
On services exports, the contraction continued for the fifth consecutive month. The services trade surplus in March was $4.99 billion. The net export of services for April-March 2015-16 was estimated at $69.59 billion, lower than $76.58 billion in 2014-15. 

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