Exports grow 8.32% in May; trade deficit hits 30-month high

New Delhi: The country's exports rose by 8.32 percent to US $24 billion in May, even as the trade deficit shot up to nearly 30-month high of US $13.84 billion, mainly due to increase in gold imports.

Strong performance by petroleum, engineering, textiles and gems and jewellery sectors propelled the country's exports growth during the month.

India's exports stood at US $22.1 billion in the corresponding month a year ago.

The total outward shipments had registered a 19.7 percent growth in April this year.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

India's imports too increased by 33 percent to US $37.85 billion in May this year.

Nearly three-fold jump in gold imports at US $4.95 billion led to widening of trade deficit during the last month. It was US $6.27 billion in May 2016.

The previous highest level for trade deficit was in November 2014 when it was recorded at US $16.86 billion.

Commenting on the figures, exporters body FIEO exuded confidence that the shipments will continue to record positive growth in the coming months.

"The exporters are of the view that the timely support will help in giving further fillip to this growth trend. Challenges with regards to currency appreciation and protectionism should also be looked into by the government," the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President, Ganesh Gupta, said in a statement.

The country's merchandise exports during April-May period of the current fiscal too recorded a growth of 13.83 percent to US $48.7 billion.

Imports too rose by 40.63 percent to US $75.74 billion, leaving a trade deficit of US$27 billion.

"Exports have been exhibiting positive growth for the last eight months," the commerce ministry said.

During May, major commodity groups of export having a share of 72 percent in total export basket which have shown positive growth over the corresponding month of last year are engineering (8.25 percent), gems and jewellery (6 percent), Petroleum Products (24.92 percent) and textiles (8 percent).

Further, the ministry's data said that oil and non-oil imports last month grew by 29.54 percent to US $7.69 billion and 34 percent to US $30 billion, respectively.

Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 11:45 AM

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