May 2019: Trade Deficit Rises to $15.36 b

India’s merchandise exports rose 3.93% to about $30 billion in May, led by healthy growth in sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and engineering. However, a sharper increase in imports, led by those of gold, widened the trade deficit to $15.36 billion.

Imports in May rose 4.31% to $45.35 billion, according to data released by the commerce and industry ministry on Friday.

Gold imports increased a whopping 37.43% to $4.78 billion in the past month. Oil imports were up 8.23% to $12.44 billion, while non-oil imports expanded 2.9% to $32.91 billion. However, electronics imports fell 3.17%.

Only 17 out of the 30 major product groups showed growth in exports in the past month. These included electronic goods, organic & inorganic chemicals, drugs & pharma, and ready made garments of all textiles.

Cumulatively, exports during April and May, or the first two months of fiscal 2019-20, rose 2.37% to more than $56 billion. Imports grew 4.39% to $86.75 billion, registering a trade deficit of $30.69 billion.

Non-oil and non-gold imports at $28.13 billion in May, fell 1.31%, indicating domestic demand losing strength.

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