• A marginal 2.44% increase in exports as well as lower imports of gold and petroleum products in February, significantly narrowed the country’s trade deficit to $9.6 billion.
  • India’s merchandise exports rose to $26.67 billion in February from $26.03 in the year-ago month mainly on account of higher shipments in sectors such as pharmaceutical, engineering and electronics.
  • Imports declined by 5.4% to $36.26 billion in the last month, narrowing the trade deficit to $9.6 billion.
  • The gap between imports and exports was $12.3 billion in February 2018, and $14.73 billion in January 2019.
  • As per the data, the drop in imports was mainly on account of sharp decline in inward shipments of gold and petroleum products.

What about the Gold imports?

  • While the import of gold fell by about 11% to $2.58 billion in February, as against $2.89 billion in the corresponding month last fiscal, inward shipments of petroleum products were down by nearly 8% to $9.37 billion.
  • During the April-February period of the current fiscal year, exports grew 8.85% to $298.47 billion, while imports rose by 9.75% to $464 billion. T
  • he trade deficit has widened to $165.52 billion during the 11 months of the current fiscal from $148.55 billion compared to the year-ago period, the data said.
  • Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in February 2019 stood at $19.87 billion, as compared to $18.90 billion in the year-ago month.
  • Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April-February 2018-19 were $217.43 billion, as against $201.95 billion in the comparative period last fiscal.
  • However, with this trend, we will be able to achieve merchandise exports of about $330 billion, the highest ever exports for a fiscal.
  • Meanwhile, RBI said services exports in January 2019 were $17.75 billion, registering a negative growth of 1.02% over December 2018.