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June exports rise for tenth straight month

Business Standard:  July 17, 2017

New Delhi: Export growth slowed in June to 4.39 per cent against 8 per cent in the previous month, even as the country managed to see 10 straight months of rise in outbound trade.

Import growth also fell in June, with inbound shipments totalling $36.52 billion, a rise of 19 per cent over the same month last year. Imports had grown over 33 pre cent in May year-on-year. Trade deficit was marginally lower at $12.9 billion in June from $13.8 billion in May.

Exports were $23.56 billion in June compared to $22.57 billion in the year-ago period, according to the data issued by the commerce and industry ministry. Export growth has been down since March, when it hit a high of 27 per cent, steepest in a little over five years. Cumulative export in the first quarter of the current financial year was about $72 billion.

Among major foreign exchange earners, engineering export grew 14.8 per cent and petroleum products by 3.6 per cent. However, half of 30 items monitored witnessed contraction. These include pharma, leather, gems and jewellery.

Expressing concern at fall in these exports, Federation of Indian Export Organisations president Ganesh Kumar Gupta called upon the government to look into this, as these industries are major job providers.

Implementation problems on the goods and services tax (GST) at the ground should be addressed on war footing or else, this will affect exports in the current and next few months, he said.

Much of the push to import came from gold, which more than doubled to $2.5 billion in June year-on-year; import of precious and semi-precious stones increased by 86 per cent to $3.3 billion. “A strong rupee has definitely come in the way of growth in export and also encouraged the import of gold,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings. The share of crude oil in import was marginally down to 20.6 per cent, from 22.2 per cent, owing to lower prices.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.