In January moved by the higher imports of crude oil as well precious stone and a dip in exports, trade deficit accelerated to record a 56-month high level of $16.3 billion.
Commerce ministry however revealed showed a surge in exports by 9.1% while imports got pushed higher by 26.1%. The exports of merchandise also rose higher by 9.07% to reach $24.38 billion for the January month against the corresponding month.
There have been issues with the exporters who are facing delay in refund in respect of input tax credit as well as issues post imposition of GST and such glitches have prompted the GST Council to allow exporters to the earlier regime until March 2018.
In the first ten months to January of the FY 2018, trade deficit ballooned to $131 billion as against $88 billion of the corresponding period in the year ago period.
Exports have dipped in the merchandise category to a three-month low, buoyed by dampening in some of the areas including yarn, iron ore and textiles.
Further, jewellery and gems, drugs and pharma, chemicals, petroleum products, engineering goods all witnessed a surge in exports while there was a decline in the ready-made garments section.
And as the merchandise trade deficit has come in sharply higher than expectations, the current account deficit target for FY 2018 has been moved to $47-50 billion or nearly 2% of GDP from the previous $42-44 billion.