The country’s merchandise exports declined 2.59% year-on-year to $34.47 billion in September this year, as against $35.59 billion in the same period last year, according to the latest data by the ministry of commerce and industry. In August this year, the merchandise exports stood at $34.48 billion.

The services exports, however, surged marginally by 0.5% to $29.37 billion during the month under review, as against $29.22 billion in the same period last year. The services exports in August stood at $26.39 billion. The country’s trade deficit in September stood at $19.37 billion.

Meanwhile, the country’s merchandise imports fell by 15% year-on-year to $53.84 billion as against $63.37 billion in the same period last year. In August, the merchandise imports stood at $58.64 billion.

The services imports fell stood at $14.91 billion, declining by 8.3% year-on-year, as against $16.27 billion in the same period last year. In August, the service imports stood at $13.86 billion. According to the ministry, between the H1 of FY24, the trade deficit improved by 47% at $39.91 billion as against $75.34 billion in the same period last year. The merchandise trade deficit improved to $115.58 billion in H1 of this year, as against $140.83 billion in the same period last year.  

Meanwhile, the exports of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery registered a growth of 1.86% to $24.78 billion during the month under review, as against $24.33 billion in the same period last year. The exports of engineering goods recorded a growth of 6.83% to $8.91 billion in September as against $8.34 billion in the same period last year.

The exports of marine products registered an increase of 4.7% to $0.75 billion in September as against $0.72 billion in the same period last year. “For the month of September 2023, under merchandise exports, 12 of the 30 key sectors exhibited positive growth in September 2023 as compared to the same period last year (September 2022). These include iron ore (8054.78%), oil meals (72.66%), ceramic products & glassware (50.49%), cotton yarn/fabs./made-ups, handloom products etc. (27.39%), meat, dairy & poultry products (19.4%), cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items (17.65%), tobacco (9.18%), drugs & pharmaceuticals (9.01%), oil seeds (8.77%), carpet (7.51%), engineering goods (6.79%) and marine products (4.66%),” says the ministry.

"Under merchandise imports, 20 out of 30 key sectors exhibited negative growth in September 2023. These include silver (-89.94%), cotton raw & waste (-87.68%), fertilisers, crude & manufactured (-61.89%), sulphur & unroasted iron pyrites (-56.96%), transport equipment (-53.15%), coal, coke & briquettes, etc. (-33.39%), vegetable oil  (-24.11%), project goods (-23.53%), pearls, precious & semi-precious stones (-22.49%), newsprint (-22.4%), leather & leather products (-21.72%), petroleum, crude & products (-20.32%), wood &  wood products (-14.71%), organic & inorganic chemicals (-12.89%), chemical material & products (-12.04%), textile yarn fabric, made-up articles (-8.29%), metaliferrous ores & other minerals (-4.44%), iron & steel (-3.25%), machine tools (-1.6%) and pulp and waste paper (-0.83%)," it adds.

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