Fall in Exports continues; dips more than 20pc in May

RSTV Bureau

In what could be considered a not so pleasant news on the economic front, the fall in exports is giving no abate. With more than 20% fall in the month of May, the exports have been showing a dipped index continuously for the last six months. In May, the exports fell by 20.19 per cent US Dollars 22.34 billion. Global slowdown and the dip in crude oil prices that has an impact on overseas shipments of petroleum products is believed to be the reason for such a sharp and continuous fall.

In May 2014, the country’s merchandise exports had stood at USD 27.99 billion. The last time exports registered a positive growth was in November last year when it expanded 7.27 per cent. The main exporting sectors including petroleum products, gems and jewellery, engineering and chemicals reported a negative growth in last month for this year.

Expressing a serious concern over the continuous decline, the exporters urged the Central government to act fast in taking measures to help arrest the dip.

“It is matter of serious and grave concern as the decline has further exasperated. This, if allowed to continue, will severely impact the Indian economy,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S C Ralhan said.

The prime reason continues to be low prices of crude, metal and commodity and slowdown in the main western markets, he said.

The markets showed concerns with even the Imports registering a decline by 16.52 per cent for the month of May to USD 32.75 billion. It was steepest since February 2014 when imports contracted by 17.09 per cent.

Trade deficit narrowed to a three month low of USD 10.4 billion in the month under review compared with USD 11.23 billion in May 2014, according to data released by the commerce ministry. It was USD 6.85 billion in February.

Oil imports dropped 40.97 per cent in May to USD 8.53 billion. Non-oil imports too came down by 2.24 per cent to USD 24.21 billion.

Gold imports, however, grew 10.47 per cent to USD 2.42 billion in May.

During April-May, the first two months of the 2015-16 fiscal, exports fell 17.21 per cent to USD 44.4 billion. Imports declined 12.2 per cent to USD 65.8 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of USD 21.39 billion.

In March, the last month of the previous fiscal 2014-15, the country’s exports had contracted 21 per cent, the biggest fall in the last six years.

(With inputs from the PTI)