Growing for the second consecutive month, the country's exports rose 6.16 per cent year-on-year to $27.45 billion in January 2021 following healthy growth in pharma and engineering sectors, according to provisional data of the commerce ministry.
Exports of pharmaceuticals and engineering grew 16.4 per cent ($2 billion), and about 19 per cent ($7.4 billion), respectively, the data showed.Other sectors which recorded growth included oil meals, iron ore, tobacco, rice, fruits and vegetables, carpets, handicrafts, spices, tea, cashew, plastic and chemicals.
Export sectors which recorded negative growth included petroleum products (-32 per cent), ready-made garments of all textiles (-10.73 per cent), and leather (-18.6 per cent).In December 2020, the country's merchandise exports had recorded a growth of 0.14 per cent.Imports of gold jumped by about 155 per cent to $4 billion in January this year.
Other import segments which recorded growth were pulses, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, cotton raw and waste, vegetable oil, chemicals, and machine tools.
However, cumulatively exports during April-January 2020-21 contracted by 13.58 per cent to $228.25 billion as against $264.13 billion during the same period last year, the data showed.
Similarly, imports dropped by about 26 per cent to $300.26 billion during April-January this fiscal.
In January 2021, oil imports were $9.40 billion, as compared to $13.01 billion in January 2020, a decline by 27.72 per cent.
Oil imports in April-January 2020-21 were $63.09 billion, as against $109.72 billion in April-January 2019-20, showing a decline of 42.5 per cent.
Commenting on the numbers, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S K Saraf said negative growth in exports of major products including petroleum products, leather, meat, dairy and poultry products, and gems and jewellery, which are major constituents of the export basket and mainly related to labour-intensive sectors, have been of key concern during the month.He urged the government to soon notify the RoDTEP rates, which will remove uncertainty from the minds of the trade and industry thereby helping them forge new contracts with overseas buyers.
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