India’s goods exports declined 10.3% in May 2023 to $34.39 billion as compared to $39 billion registered during the same month a year ago. Merchandise imports also reduced 6.6% to $57.1 billion in May 2023 from $61.13 billion in May 2022.

However, overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in May 2023 are estimated to be $60.29 billion, 5.99% lower than $64.13 billion registered in May 2022. Overall imports in May 2023 are estimated to be $70.64 billion, 7.45% lower than $76.32 billion in May 2022. The ministry attributed the decline in trade to a drop in consumer spending across advanced nations due to persisting geopolitical tensions and monetary tightening induced recessionary fears. Textiles, plastic & linoleum exports were most hit due to subdued demand in major economies.

The monthly data released by the commerce ministry however showed that 13 of the 30 key sectors exhibited positive growth in exports in May 2023 as compared to same period last year (May 2022). These include electronic goods (73.96%), other cereals (67.96%), oil meals (52.91%), spices (49.84%), iron ore (48.26%), oil seeds (25.02%), fruits & vegetables (19.91%), ceramic products & glassware (17.36%), rice (14.27%), tea (8.81%), cashew (2.81%), coffee (1.71%) and drugs & pharmaceuticals (0.78%).

While exports of electronic goods increased by 73.96% during May 2023 at $2.42 billion as compared to $1.39 billion in May 2022, it registered a 48.06% growth year on year for April-May 2023 period.

Under merchandise imports, 16 out of 30 key sectors exhibited negative growth in May 2023. These include silver (-93.92%), sulphur & unroasted iron pyrites (-81.88%), cotton raw & waste  (-39.81%), gold (-38.71%), vegetable oil  (-33.02%), pearls, precious & semi-precious stones (-31.62%), organic & inorganic chemicals (-20.26%), coal, coke & briquettes (-16.88%), transport equipment (-12.85%), textile yarn fabric, made-up articles (-11.93%), artificial resins, plastic materials (-9.17%), pulp and waste paper (-8.4%), project goods (-6.04%), petroleum, crude & products (-5.97%), wood &  wood products (-3.4%) and metaliferrous ores & other minerals (-0.58%).

The World Trade Organisation had recently revised global trade growth projection to 1.7% from earlier projection of 1%, stating that a demand revival is expected from July-August 2023 onwards.

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