New Delhi, June 2 (PTI): India’s exports grew by 67.39 per cent to USD 32.21 billion in May driven by healthy growth in sectors such as engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery, even as trade deficit widened to USD 6.32 billion, according to government data released on Wednesday.
Exports in May last year stood at USD 19.24 billion and in May 2019 it was at USD 29.85 billion, the commerce ministry’s preliminary data showed.
Imports in May rose by 68.54 per cent to USD 38.53 billion, from USD 22.86 billion in May 2020. In May 2019, imports stood at USD 46.68 billion.
“India is thus a net importer in May 2021 with a trade deficit of USD 6.32 billion, an increase of 74.69 per cent over trade deficit USD 3.62 billion in May 2020 and reduction by 62.49 per cent over trade deficit USD 16.84 billion in May 2019,” the ministry said.
The country’s merchandise exports in April had jumped nearly three-fold to USD 30.63 billion, even as the trade deficit widened to USD 15.1 billion.
Oil imports during May this year rose to USD 9.45 billion, as compared to USD 3.57 billion in May 2020. In May 2019, it stood at USD 12.59 billion.
Exports during Apr-May this year have jumped to USD 62.84 billion, as against USD 29.6 billion in the same period last year. It was USD 55.88 billion in Apr-May 2019, the data showed.
Imports during Apr-May 2021 was USD 84.25 billion, up from USD 39.98 billion in April-May 2020. In Apr-May 2019 it stood at USD 89.07 billion.
In Apr-May 2021, oil imports aggregated at USD 20.32 billion, up from USD 8.24 billion in Apr-May 2020. In Apr-May 2019 it was USD 24.16 billion.
Exports of engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewellery in May stood at USD 3 billion, USD 3.51 billion and USD 1.9 billion respectively.
Commenting on the data, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) founder chairman Mohit Singla said that the fall in the import of newsprint, transport equipment and iron and steel is a welcome trend towards self-reliance, as it shows that the government’s import substitution strategy has strongly worked for these sectors.
The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) said that shipments in the sector saw a substantial year-on-year rise in May primarily on account of low-base due to strict lockdown in the same month last year.
“We expect the order book of exporters to remain strong in the current financial year given the demand trend from key markets such as US, China and Europe,” it said in a statement.