The Ministry of Commerce reported a 5.17 percent increase in exports from Rs. 1.7 lakh crore in April from Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the same month last year.
The major commodity groups that showed positive export growth when compared to the year-ago period include:
- Engineering goods (17.63 percent)
- Organic and inorganic chemicals (38.848 percent)
- Drugs and pharmaceuticals (13.56 percent)
- Cotton yarn/handloom products (15.66 percent) and
- Plastic and linoleum (30.03 percent).
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in April 2018 increased by 11.73 percent to $ 19.80 billion from $17.72 billion in April 2017.
Meanwhile, total imports made in April also grew higher. It was up by 6.43 percent (in rupee terms) at Rs 2.6 lakh crore from Rs 2.4 lakh crore in the same month last year. In terms of US dollars, it was valued at $ 39.63 billion; 4.60 percent higher than last year.
Major commodity groups that experienced an increase were:
- Petroleum, crude and products (41.49 percent)
- Electrical/non-electrical machinery (9.11 percent)
- Coal, coke and briquettes (20.43 percent)
- Organic and inorganic chemicals (18.36 percent), and
- Transport equipment (33.18 percent).
Gold imports for the month of April dipped by 33.05 percent, while Silver rose by 36.51 percent.
Oil imports for April 2018 were 41.49 percent higher at $10.41 billion from $7.36 billion. The ministry also mentioned that global crude oil benchmark Brent had increased by 35.20 percent in the one year span.
Non-oil imports were estimated at $29.21 billion, that is, 4.30 percent lower than $30.53 billion in April last year.
As per Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) press release, exports in the services front for March 2018 showed a positive growth of 7.16 percent at $16.83 billion, while imports grew by 1.35 percent at $10.28 billion.
The trade deficit in merchandise for April 2018 was estimated at $13.72 billion, as against the deficit of $13.25 billion during April last year.
Overall trade deficit (including services and merchandise) for April-March 2017-18 is estimated at $ 80.61 billion as compared to $ 41.79 billion during April-March 2016-17.