The country’s exports have declined marginally by 0.8%, as it recorded trade of $26.89 billion as of December 2020 as compared to $27.11 billion in December 2019. The decline is impacted by the contraction in sectors like petroleum, leather, and marine products, as per preliminary data by the commerce ministry on Saturday. Also Read: LPG Cylinder Booking: Now, Missed Call Facility For Indane Gas Customers
The data also revealed, in December, the trade deficit widened by 25.78% at $15.71 billion, as compared to the trade deficit of $12.49 billion.
Exports in December 2019 was $27.11 billion, while imports stood at $39.5 billion. In November 2020, the exports were down by 8.74%.
In April-December 2020-21, the country’s merchandise exports contracted by 15.8% to $200.55 billion, as compared to $238.27 billion in the same period of 2019-20. Imports during the nine months of the current fiscal declined by 29.08 per cent to $258.29 billion, as against $364.18 billion in April-December 2019-20.
“India is thus a net importer in December 2020, with a trade deficit of $15.71 billion, as compared to a trade deficit of $12.49 billion, widened by 25.78 per cent,” the ministry said, as per the PTI report.
In December 2020, oil imports declined by 10.37 per cent to $9.61 billion. During April-December this fiscal, the imports dipped by 44.46 per cent to $53.71 billion.
Amid the uncertainty in the global trade situation due to rising protectionism that impacted exports in 2019, the exporters’ community is hopeful that outbound shipments would start recording healthy growth rates from April 2021.
Aided by growth in demand in developed as well as developing countries, and effective COVID-19 vaccines that may bring life back on track the world over. “The first quarter in 2021 will remain subdued because of issues related to MEIS (Merchandise Export from India Scheme) are not yet resolved. We are expecting that the issues would be resolved in the coming months and the situation will turn normal for exports from April 2021 onwards,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said.