Exports rise 12.36% to $27 billion in December

Exports rise 12.36% to $27 billion in December”

Propelled by engineering goods and petroleum sectors, India's exports rose 12.36 per cent to United States dollars 27.03 billion in December even as the trade deficit touched a 3-year high.

India's trade deficit shot up to a three-year high in December as imports of gold, precious stones and crude oil surged during the month.

Exporters body FIEO said India is on course to reaching the United States dollars 300 billion milestone for overseas shipments.

Consequently, India's merchandise trade deficit widened to $14.88 billion during last month, as against $10.54 billion in the corresponding period of previous year.

According to the commerce ministry's data released today, silver imports too rose by 106 per cent to Dollars 197.26 million last month as against USD 95.84 million in December 2016.

Cumulative value of exports for the period April- December, 2017-18, was $223.512 billion as against $199.467 billion in the year-ago period, registering a growth of 12.05%.

Average daily exports were up 11.5% in the second from the first week of the year - from United States dollars 738.9 million to USD 824.1 million.

A sharp pick-up in growth of services export to a 44-month high of 15.4 per cent in November, from 7.9 per cent in October 2017 had helped boost the services surplus to $5.7 billion in November.

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Non-oil imports during last month stood at $31.56 billion with a growth of 17.19 per cent over $26.93 billion in December 2016.

"Exports during December 2017 have exhibited positive growth of 12.36 per cent in dollar terms vis-vis December 2016", the ministry said in a statement.

Imports of coal (18.5%), chemicals (21%), plastics (11%), precious stones (94%), non-ferrous metals (30%) and electronic goods (19.2%) also expanded in December.

Imports during the first nine months of the current fiscal amounted to $338.369 billion against $277.89 billion a year ago, a growth of of 21.76 per cent.

"Overall, the current account deficit is likely to widen almost three-fold to $ 42-44 billion in FY2018 from $15 billion in FY2017", she said. Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said the rise in trade deficit was alarming and the import profile needed to be analysed.

Gupta further said exporters are having "huge problem" in getting refund of input tax credit (ITC) both due to "ignorance and recalcitrant approach" of the tax authorities. The December figure has again prompted exporters to air grievances about refunds in the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank data showed that the exports in services in November 2017 were valued at Dollars 15.392 billion. Compared with the second week of January 2016 (USD 677.6 million), average daily exports climbed 16%.

It said in a press release that the trade balance in services (net export of services) for the month was estimated at United States dollars 5.74 billion.

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