According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry on Friday, India's overall exports for the month of April has been estimated to be $27.96 billion, 36.65 percent lower than the same period last year. Overall imports in April fell 47.36 percent from a year ago to $27.80 billion.
"Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade surplus for April 2020 is estimated at $0.16billion as compared to the deficit of $8.67 billion in April 2019," the ministry said.
In April, merchandise exports contracted by a record 60.28 percent to $10.36 billion amid the COVID-19 related lockdown across the globe. Similarly, imports tumbled by 58.65 percent to $17.12 billion in April from $41.4 billion in the same month of the previous year.
"The decline in exports has been mainly due to the ongoing global slowdown, which got aggravated due to the current Covid-19 crisis. The latter resulted in large scale disruptions in supply chains and demand resulting in cancellation of orders," the ministry said in a statement.
"Except for Iron Ore and Drugs & Pharmaceuticals which registered a growth of 17.53 percent and 0.25 percent respectively, all other commodity/commodity groups have registered negative growth in April 2020 vis-a-vis April 2019," it added.
Major commodity groups which recorded negative export growth during the month were gems and jewellery (-98.74 percent), leather (-93.28 percent), petroleum products (-66.22 percent) and engineering goods (-64.76 percent). Oil imports in April stood at $4.66 billion, which was 59.03 percent lower as compared to April 2019.