New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) India’s trade deficit in August this year at $7.67 billion witnessed a 38 per cent fall compared to the same month last year at $12.40 billion, commerce ministry data showed on Thursday.
Exports in August at $21.15 billion fell marginally by 0.3 per cent, compared to $21.58 billion exported in August 2015, indicating that the trend of continuous decline in Indian exports that had occurred till June this year has been halted.
The government said growth in exports have fallen for the US, European Union and China but Japan exhibited positive growth for June 2016, over the corresponding period of the previous year, as per latest WTO statistics.
The major export sectors which recorded negative growth in the month include petroleum (14 per cent), leather (7.82 per cent) and chemicals (5 per cent).
The lower August trade deficit was due to lower imports during the month at $29.19 billion, which was over 14 per cent lower than the imports of $33.98 billion in August 2015, caused by the fall in global crude oil prices.
Moreover, fall in gold imports too helped in narrowing the trade deficit. Gold imports dipped by 77.45 per cent to $1.11 billion in the month under consideration.
The trade deficit cumulatively for April-August also declined more than 40 per cent to $34.67 billion against $58.38 billion in April-August of 2015-16.
India’s exports in July at $21.69 billion had fallen 6.84 per cent, compared to the corresponding month of 2015.
Cumulatively, for April-August, exports were down 2.98 per cent in dollar terms at $108.5 billion, against $111.85 billion over the same period last year.
Cumulative imports for April-August were worth more than $143.19 billion, which was a 15.89 per cent fall from $170.23 billion worth recorded for the same period a year ago.
Lower global crude prices meant oil imports during the month under review declined by 8.47 per cent to $6.74 billion from $7.37 billion in the corresponding month of last year.
For April-August, crude oil imports plummeted by 22.08 per cent at $32.41 billion from $41.59 billion in the corresponding period last year
Reserve Bank data on Thursday showed India’s services exports in July fell 4.11 per cent at $12.78 billion as compared to a fall of 1.03 per cent in June 2016.
Services imports in July recorded a fall of 11.68 per cent at $7.41 billion, compared with a positive growth of 5.89 per cent in June 2016.