India’s merchandise trade trade narrows to seven year low of US$ 5.07 billion in March 2016

Export declines 15.9% to US$ 261.14 billion in FY2016

India’s merchandise exports continued to decline for the sixteenth straight month at 5.5% to US$ 22.72 billion in March 2016 over a year ago. Meanwhile, merchandise imports also dipped 21.6% to US$ 27.79 billion. The trade deficit narrowed 55.5% to seven year low of US$ 5.07 billion in March 2016 from US$ 11.40 billion in March 2015.

Oil imports plunged 35.3% to US$ 4.80 billion, while non-oil imports also declined 17.9% to US$ 22.99 billion in March 2016 over March 2015. The share of oil imports in total imports was 17.3% in March 2016. India’s basket of crude oil plunged 34.0% to US$ 36.42 per barrel in March 2016 over March 2015.

Among the non-oil imports, the major contributors to the overall decline in imports were petroleum, crude & products imports declining 35.3% to US$ 4.80 billion, machinery, electrical & non-electrical 5.6% to US$ 2.33 billion, precious & semi-precious stones 11.0% to US$ 1.96 billion, iron & steel 7.0% to US$ 1.15 billion, coal 37.4% to US$ 1.00 billion, gold 80.5% to US$ 0.97 billion, non-ferrous metals 10.9% to US$ 0.77 billion, metaliferrous ores 49.2% to US$ 0.36 billion, silver 62.4% to US$ 0.21 billion and organic & inorganic chemicals 1.6% to US$ 1.24 billion.

On the other hand, the imports have increased for electronic goods 19.0% to US$ 3.70 billion, transport equipment 34.7% to US$ 2.03 billion, artificial resins, plastic materials, etc. 4.1% to US$ 0.95 billion, vegetable oil 4.2% to US$ 0.83 billion, chemical material & products 5.8% to US$ 0.42 billion, pulses 25.8% to US$ 0.21 billion and pulp and waste paper 25.2% to US$ 0.09 billion in March 2016.

On exports front, the engineering goods recorded a sharp dip in exports by 11.3% to US$ 2.46 billion, followed by petroleum products 21.4% to US$ 4.58 billion, RMG of all textiles 4.1% to US$ 3.49 billion, cotton yarn and fabrics 8.7% to US$ 0.40 billion, rice 27.7% to US$ 1.10 billion, leather & leather products 3.1% to US$ 0.86 billion, man-made yarn/ fabrics 8.7% to US$ 0.54 billion, and meat, dairy & poultry products 14.3% to US$ 0.41 billion.

However, the exports improved for, gems & jewellery 4.6% to US$ 3.62 billion, drugs & pharmaceuticals 4.1% to US$ 1.52 billion, electronic goods 11.5% to US$ 0.59 billion, plastic & linoleum 30.2% to US$ 0.48 billion, spices 12.6% to US$ 0.27 billion, fruits & vegetables 14.1% to US$ 0.26 billion, in March 2016.

Merchandise exports in rupees increased 1.5% to Rs 152265 crore, while imports dipped 15.8% to Rs 186251 crore in March 2016 over March 2015. The trade deficit narrowed to Rs 33986 crore in March 2016 compared with Rs 71169 crore in March 2015.

India’s merchandise exports declined 15.9% to US$ 261.14 billion, while merchandise imports fell 15.3% to US$ 379.60 billion in April-March FY2016. The decline in imports was driven by a 40.2% plunge in oil imports to US$ 82.66 billion. India’s merchandise trade deficit declined to US$ 118.46 billion in April-March 2016 from US$ 137.69 billion in April-March 2015.