Exports dip in October

India’s trade deficit hit a three year high as exports contracted for the first time in over a year on account of glitches faced after the implementation of GST and exporters front-loading dispatching some of the shipments in September to take advantage of higher duty refunds before the new rates kicked in.

Exports fell 1.1% to $23.1 billion in October from $23.4 a year ago. Exports had last declined in August 2016 and fall in October was on account contraction seen in several sectors — from textiles and pharmaceuticals to leather and gems and jewellery, which are all labour-intensive sectors.

In contrast, imports grew by 7.6% to $37.1 billion in October, pushing up trade deficit to $14 billion from $11.1billion in October 2016. Gold imports fell 16% to $2.9 billion, while non-oil imports were 2.2% higher at $27.8 billion, indicating a slowdown in industry. Oil imports grew 27.9% to $9.28 billion, largely due to higher crude prices.

Exports during April-October 2017-18 rose by 9.6% to $170.3 billion, while imports grew 22.2% to $256.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $86.1 billion

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