India’S Merchandise Trade Deficit Dips To 11-Month Low Of $15.6 Billion In March

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) India's merchandise trade deficit narrowed to an 11-month low of $15.6 billion in March compared to $18.71 billion in February as there was a significant decline in imports during the month, figures released by the Commerce Ministry on Monday showed.

The merchandise trade deficit, which shows the amount by which earnings from export goods of a country fall short of its imported commodities, had touched $18.96 billion in March last year.

However, there was a marginal decline of 0.3 percent in exports to $41.68 billion during the month amid the global economic slowdown and the disruption in shipping due to geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea region.

As many as 17 of the 30 key sectors such as electronic items, pharmaceuticals and engineering goods posted a positive growth in exports in March as compared to the same period last year.

The imports during the month fell by 5.98 percent to $57.28 billion which helped to reduce the trade deficit. The major commodities which recorded a decline in imports include gold, fertilisers, leather products, iron and steel and petroleum items.

For the full financial year ended on March 31, India's merchandise trade deficit declined by 9.33 percent to $240.17 billion. Exports during 2023-24 worked out to $437.06 billion, declining 3.11 percent while imports fell by 5.41 percent at $677.24 billion.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said: "The financial year 2023-24 was difficult from a trade point of view since not only did the Ukraine-Russia conflict continue, but other conflicts came up. There were huge issues with the Red Sea as well as recessionary trends globally. But India has beaten all the odds."



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