Exports jumps 27.6% in Mar;trade deficit swells to USD 10.4 bn

Among 29 major commodities, only five exporting items and eight importing items contracted in March.

Fuelled by a sharp rise in global orders for engineering goods, ready-made garments and petroleum products, this is the second consecutive month of double-digit growth in exports.

Consequently, the trade deficit during the month under review stood at $10.43 billion.

Imports too jumped 45.25 per cent to $39.66 billion last month from $27.3 billion in March 2016.

Cumulatively, oil imports during the April-March of last fiscal were valued at Dollars 86.45 billion, about 4.24 per cent higher than the previous year. The previous high in export growth was recorded at 36.3 per cent in September 2011.

For the full fiscal 2016-17, exports saw a growth of 4.71 percent at United States $274.64 billion against U.S. $262.3 billion in 2015-16.

China's exports rose 16.4% in March from a year earlier to $180.6 billion while imports grew 20.3% to $156.6 billion leading to a trade surplus of $24 billion.

"The global scenario reflecting downward forecast for global trade by the World Trade Organisation in 2017 at 2.7 per cent does not reflect a positive picture", pointed out GK Gupta, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO). "Based on the wider than expected merchandise trade deficit in March 2017, the current account deficit is likely to print at $16.5-17.5 billion in FY2017", she added. For 2018, the WTO is forecasting global trade growth between 2.1% and 4%.

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  • Zachary Reyes