India’s merchandise exports dip marginally in March, FY24 shipments at $437 bn

India’s merchandise exports declined marginally in March to $41.68 billion, while for the entire 2023-24 it dipped 3.11 per cent to $437.06 billion, as geopolitical issues continued to hamper global shipments.

Imports, too, declined 5.98 per cent to $57.28 billion in March, taking the trade deficit to $15.6 billion during the month.

According to commerce ministry data released on Monday, the imports during 2023-24 stood at $677.24 billion, down 5.41 per cent from $715.97 billion in the preceding year.

The trade deficit or gap between imports and exports worked to be $240.17 billion.

Replying to a query on escalation of the crisis in the Middle east, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal, who was briefing about the trade data, said the ministry was monitoring the situation and will take “appropriate action”.

However, he did not elaborate due to the Model Code of Conduct in the wake of the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

The overall exports (merchandise + services) are estimated to surpass last year’s highest record, the Secretary said.

Also read: FTAs need to deliver for buoyant external trade

It is estimated to reach $776.68 billion in 2023-24 as compared to $776.40 billion in 2022-23.

Barthwal said March witnessed the highest monthly merchandise exports during 2023-24 at $41.68 billion.

Main drivers of merchandise export growth in 2023-24 include electronic goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, iron ore, cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, handloom products and ceramic products and glassware.

Electronic goods exports increased 23.64 per cent from $23.55 billion in 2022-23 to $29.12 billion in 2023-24.

Drugs and pharmaceuticals exports increased 9.67 per cent from $25.39 billion in 2022-23 to $27.85 billion during the fiscal year.

Data showed that engineering goods exports increased 2.13 per cent to $109.32 billion in 2023-24.

The commerce ministry also said the overall trade deficit is estimated to significantly improve 35.77 per cent from $121.62 billion in 2022-23 to $78.12 billion in 2023-24.



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