India’s trade deficit for April month widened to 5-month high of $15.3mn on the back of rising gold imports, data released by the commerce ministry showed.
However, merchandise exports lost the growth momentum of March amid rising trade tensions between China and the US.
Notably, growth in exports slowed to a four-month low of 0.64% in April after double-digit growth in March, while imports grew 4.5%. In FY19, India’s exports grew 9.1% to $331bn, while imports grew 9% to $507.4bn, causing a trade deficit of $176.4bn.
During April, India’s exports picked up in drugs and pharmaceuticals (4%), chemicals (15.1%), readymade garments (4.4%) and petroleum products (30.8%), while they contracted in gems and jewelry (-13.4%) and engineering goods (-7.1%).
Among major items of imports, gold (54%), petroleum products (9.3%), plastic materials (3.5%), iron and steel (11%), non-ferrous metals (1%), machinery (6.5%) and electronic goods (4%) expanded while transport equipment (-31.7%), chemicals (-0.1%) and precious stones (-8.9%) fell.