After a blip, exports jump 30.55% to over $26 billion in November
After a brief pause, exports rose 30.55 per cent to USD 26.19 billion in November on account of improved global demand, government incentives and simplification of GST refund process.
Exports had witnessed a decline of 1.12 per cent to USD 23 billion in October this year, retreating from a six-month high growth rate in September.
India's exports in November 2016 stood at USD 20.06 billion.
The data released by the commerce ministry also revealed that imports too grew 19.61 per cent to USD 40 billion in November from USD 33.46 billion in the same month last year.
On account of rise in imports, trade deficit increased marginally to USD 13.82 billion in November on Y-o-Y basis. However, the deficit -- gap between imports and exports -- narrowed on month-on-month basis.
"While the high growth in merchandise exports in November 2017 comes as a relief following the contraction in the previous month, it partly reflects higher commodity prices as well as a favourable base effect. Engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewelry, and chemicals drove the nearly 80% of the rise in merchandise exports in November 2017 relative to the year-ago levels.The considerable uptick in merchandise imports in November 2017 was led by fuels such as petroleum, crude oil and coal, industrial inputs such as machinery and chemicals, as well as consumer items such as pearls, precious and semi precious stones and electronic goods," Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA Limited said.
November witnessed robust growth in outward shipments of gems and jewellery, engineering goods, chemical and pharmaceutical products.
The government has simplified the process for exporters to claim refunds under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Input Tax Credit (ITC) and Integrated-GST refunds for exporters are being expedited for quick unlocking of their capital.
Earlier this month, the government had announced Rs 8,450 crore incentives for exporters in sectors like leather and agriculture.
Meanwhile, gold imports dropped by 25.96 per cent to USD 3.26 billion last month, the data showed.
Oil imports and non-oil imports in November grew 39.14 per cent and 14.57 per cent to USD 9.55 billion and USD 30.47 billion, respectively.
Commenting on the trade numbers, exporters' body Fieo said the positive growth in exports have been witnessed by China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, among others, reflecting recovery in global demand, though India has "emerged as a top performer".
Twenty-four out of 30 major product groups were in the positive territory.
However, the major growth contributors were engineering, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals, marine items and pharmaceutical, the data revealed.
Engineering goods exporters body EEPC India said the "stellar performance" of exports comes on the back of smart recovery in the US economy along with several other key European nations.
Cumulative exports during April-November 2017-18 increased by 12.01 per cent to USD 196.48 billion, while imports grew 21.85 per cent to USD 296.45 billion, leaving a trade deficit of nearly USD 100 billion.
In November, gems and jewellery, drugs and pharmaceuticals, organic and inorganic chemicals and engineering exports grew by 32.69 per cent, 13.39 per cent, 54.28 per cent and 43.76 per cent, respectively.