Exports fall 5th straight month in July, trade deficit narrows

India’s merchandise exports continued its trajectory of decline for the fifth consecutive month in July, dropping 10.21 percent to $23.64 billion last month, according to data shared by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Friday. The drop was majorly on the back of fall in shipments of products like petroleum, gems and jewelry and leather goods.

Imports, too, fell 28.40 percent to $28.47 billion in July from the same period last year, narrowing the country’s trade deficit to $4.83 billion from $13.43 billion in July 2019. Petroleum and crude imports declined 31.97 percent to $6.53 billion, while gold imports rose 4.17 percent to $1.78 billion.

Around 14 of India’s top 30 export commodities saw a decline, as per the data. However, the fall was much less than the 60 percent dive that exports took in April this year.

The decline has reduced due to business activity restarting across the country and orders and enquiries from “almost all” major economies, according to Federation of Indian Export Organisations president Sharad Kumar Saraf.

However, global revival and business sentiments still have not picked up, impacting the global supply chain, he said, adding the focus should be on free trade agreements and more multilateral agreements to take on competition from nations like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Taiwan.