Chennai: Merchandise exports rose 24 per cent to $38.19 billion and imports rose 26.6 per cent to $58.26 billion in April 2022 compared to the same month last year.
Higher energy prices were one of the key factors for the higher exp-orts. The export of petroleum products was up 113.21 per cent to $7.73 billion, electronic goods exports were up 64.04 per cent and chemicals 26.71 per cent.
In case of imports too, energy products led the growth. The import of petroleum and crude products accounted for 33.5 per cent of imports in April. In value terms, petroleum products worth $19.51 billion were imported last month, registering a growth of 81.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Further, coal, coke, and briquettes worth $4.74 billion were imported in April, up 136.4 per cent from the same month last year. The import of gold was down by 72.9 per cent, while the export of gems and jewellery was down 2.11 per cent.
Both on a yearly basis as well as monthly basis, trade deficit widened and stood at $20.07 billion.
In April 2021, the trade deficit stood at $15.29 billion and in March 2022 it was at $18.51 billion.
“While merchandise imports printed in line with our forecast, an encouraging overshooting of exports curtailed the trade deficit to $20.1 billion, below our estimate of $22.8 billion. Nevertheless, unless commodity prices recede appreciably, we expect the merchandise trade deficit to print above US$20 billion in a majority of the months of FY2023,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist, ICRA
“The increase in the merchandise trade deficit from $15.3 billion in April 2021 to $20.1 billion in April 2022 was entirely on account of oil. Although the non-oil trade deficit remained stable, there was a shift in its composition, with a plunge in gold imports being offset by a rise in non-oil non-gold imports such as coal and chemicals, an unsavoury yet expected fallout of the higher commodity prices engendered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” she said.