The Union Ministry of Commerce has released the preliminary data for India’s merchandise trade during April. The trade deficit crossed $20 billion in the month, as both imports and exports increased. A large part of this shift is due to high commodity prices, driven by both supply chain-related factors and the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine. Imports went up by 27 per cent year-on-year (YoY), driven in particular by crude oil, which increased by 81 per cent, and coal, which went up by 136 per cent over the equivalent month of the previous year. Consumers have also noted the increasing prices of cooking oil, and those are reflected in these statistics, with the import bill for vegetable oils increasing by over a third YoY. Fortunately, for the deficit, an increase in perceived stability has led to lower gold demand.
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