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0.25% drop in exports after rising for 2 months, imports up 7%

India’s merchandise exports fell by 0.25% to $ 27.67 billion in February 2021, while merchandise imports increased nearly 7% to $ 40.55 billion in the month.

According to preliminary official data released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the country’s trade deficit increased by 25.8% to $ 12.88 billion compared to February 2020. Within the trade basket, exports of commodities excluding petroleum and gems and jewelery increased by 5.65%, while imports of such grew by 7.4%.

Exporters accused a slight drop in exports in February – after two consecutive months of growth – due to a shortage of containers across the country and supply disruptions in the last week of the month due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in some states.

The largest jump in exports was recorded in other cereals (542%), followed by oil meal (244.1%), iron ore (167.8%), jute products covering the floor (45.4%), and rice (30.1). %) Are included.

However, petroleum product exports fell by 27.1%, followed by a decline in several employment-intensive sectors such as leather (-21.6%), gems and jewelery (-11.2%) and readymade garments, whose shipments declined by 8.5%. .

“Increasing exports from China have led to a shortage of containers in the region as most empty containers are only available for export from China as shipping lines and container companies are being paid a heavy premium to return empty containers to China, “Sharad Kumar Saraf, President of Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO).

Mr. Saraf requested the government to allow the removal of new contracts, including notification of rates under RoDTEP (exemption of duty and tax on export products), to expedite some of the long-pending demands of exporters as soon as possible .

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