Contracting for the sixth month in a row, India’s exports dipped by 20.19 per cent in May to USD 22.34 billion mainly due to global slowdown and dip in crude oil prices that impacted overseas shipments of petroleum products.
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 May.
Exporters expressed serious concerns over the continuous decline and said the government should 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.
Imports, too, declined by 16.52 per cent for the month 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.