Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist, ICRA said, “As the state-wise restrictions have lifted, and economic activity and mobility have recovered, the merchandise trade deficit has widened steadily to US$13.9 billion in August 2021 from the eight-month low of US$ 6.3 billion in May 2021. The predominant drivers behind the widening of the trade deficit have been gold and oil imports. With gold imports likely to ease in the ongoing month on account of the inauspicious period, the merchandise trade deficit may moderate under US$10 billion in September 2021. Engineering goods and gems and jewellery have driven two-thirds of the YoY rise in non-oil merchandise exports in September 2021.”
“We expect a small current account surplus in Q1 FY2022 to offset a mild deficit in the ongoing quarter, resulting in a largely balanced current account in H1 FY2022. This will be followed by moderate deficits in the remaining two quarters of this year, aggregating to around US$20-25 billion, as domestic demand and mobility recover with widening vaccine coverage, Aditi Nayar” said
India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in April-August 2021* are estimated to be USD 256.17 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 44.04 per cent over the same period last year and a positive growth of 15.79 per cent over April-August 2019. Overall imports in April-August 2021* are estimated to be USD 273.45 Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 64.18 per cent over the same period last year and a positive growth of 3.38 per cent over April-August 2019.
Exports (including re-exports)
Exports in August 2021 were USD 33.28 Billion, as compared to USD 22.83 Billion in August 2020, exhibiting a positive growth of 45.76 per cent. In Rupee terms, exports were Rs. 2,46,863.37 Crore in August 2021, as compared to Rs. 1,70,470.61 Crore in August 2020, registering a positive growth of 44.81 per cent. As compared to August 2019, exports in August 2021 exhibited a positive growth of 28.03 per cent in Dollar terms and 33.50% in Rupee terms.
The commodities/commodity groups which have recorded positive growth during August 2021 vis-à-vis August 2020 arePetroleum products (144.6%), Gems & jewellery (88.3%), Engineering goods (59.01%), Cotton yarn/fabs./made-ups, handloom products etc. (55.84%), Man-made yarn/fabs./made-ups etc. (51.71%), Marine products (50.7%), Coffee (42.31%), Mica, Coal & other ores, minerals including processed minerals (38.56%), Organic & inorganic chemicals (35.94%), Electronic goods (31.67%), Jute mfg. including floor covering (25.3%), Handicrafts excl. handmade Carpet (24.67%), Ceramic products & glassware (18.07%), Plastic & Linoleum (16.33%), RMG of all textiles (14.15%), Cashew (12.58%), Cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items (12.19%), Fruits & Vegetables (10.13%), Tea (8.55%), Leather & leather products (8.37%), Carpet (6.93%), Rice (6.78%), Drugs & Pharmaceuticals (1.36%) and Spices (0.23%).
The commodities/commodity groups which have recorded negative growth during August 2021 vis-à-vis August 2020 are Iron ore (-64.58%), Oil meals (-45.75%), Meat, dairy & poultry products (-15.39%), Oil seeds (-5.78%), Other cereals (-2.56%) and Tobacco (-2.55%).
Imports in August 2021 were USD 47.09 Billion (Rs.3,49,301.90 Crore), which is an increase of 51.72 per cent in Dollar terms and 50.73 per cent in Rupee terms over imports of USD 31.03 Billion (Rs2,31,736.82 Crore) in August 2020. Imports in August 2021 have registered a positive growth of18.15 per cent in Dollar terms and 23.20 per cent in Rupee terms in comparison to August 2019.
As per the latest press release by RBI dated September 1, 2021, exports in July 2021 were USD 18.52Billion (Rs.1,38,053.81Crore) registering a positive growth of 10.87per cent in Dollar terms, vis-à-vis July2020. The estimated value of services export for August2021* is USD 18.92Billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 17.33 per centvis-a-visAugust 2020 (USD 16.13 Billion) and a positive growth of 7.83 per cent vis-à-vis August 2019 (USD 17.55 Billion).