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India's trade deficit widens to $19.1 billion in April: Commerce ministry

April trade data: India's exports rose to $34.99 billion, imports stood at $54.09 billion

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Vasudha Mukherjee New Delhi

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India's merchandise trade deficit expanded to $19.1 billion in April, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said on Wednesday. 

India's trade deficit had narrowed to $15.6 billion in March, representing a 11-month low.

India's exports rose marginally by 1.06 per cent to $34.99 billion in April 2024, against $34.62 billion during the same period last year.

Meanwhile India's imports stood at  $54.09 billion, up 10 per cent from $49.06 billion in April 2023, according to government data.

"Goods exports in April have gone up," Barthwal noted while announcing the trade data.

Briefing the media, Barthwal said that the figures showed that the new financial year had started on a good note and hoped that it would continue throughout the year.

In March 2024, the exports had dipped to $41.68 billion from $41.96 billion a year ago.

India experienced a significant surge in gold imports in April, more than doubling to $3.11 billion compared to $1.53 billion in March. However, the country's oil imports witnessed a slight dip, with imports totaling $16.46 billion in April compared to $17.23 billion in the previous month, as per government data.

Trade Secretary Barthwal reassured that the surge in gold imports is not an anomaly but aligns with the average trend. He attributed the increase to the rising global demand for gold amid geopolitical conflicts, which has led to a spike in gold prices. Notably, many central banks worldwide are bolstering their gold reserves in response to these uncertainties, he said.

The proportion of gold in India's foreign reserves saw a notable uptick, reaching 8.15 per cent by the end of March, up from 7.37 per cent recorded at the end of September.

Meanwhile, India's services exports in April stood at $29.57 billion, with imports totaling $16.97 billion. This compares to $28.54 billion in exports and $15.84 billion in imports recorded in March.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: May 15 2024 | 2:33 PM IST

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