India's exports declined 5.4 per cent to $24.82 billion in October 2020 due to a drop in shipments of sectors such as petroleum products, gems and jewelry, and leather, official data showed on Tuesday. That along with an 11.56 per cent year-on-year drop in imports helped the country narrow its trade deficit, or the shortfall between imports and exports, by a quarter. Exports during the April-October period stood at $150.07 billion, registering a decline of 19.05 per cent compared to the corresponding period a year ago, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
In October, the country's merchandise exports were at $24.82 billion, as compared to $26.23 billion in the corresponding month a year ago, marking a fall of 5.4 per cent. Imports also fell 11.56 per cent to $33.6 billion in October, the data showed.
India was a net importer in October 2020 with a trade deficit of $8.78 billion, as compared to a trade deficit of $11.76 billion, showing an improvement by 25.34 per cent.
According to the data, in October, the value of non-petroleum exports was $23.21 billion, recording a positive growth of 1.84 per cent over October 2019.
The value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewelry exports in October 2020 was $ 20.28 billion, as compared to $ 19.07 billion in October 2019, registering a growth of 6.34 per cent.
The cumulative value of non-petroleum, non-gems, and jewelry exports in the first seven months of financial year 2020-21 was $124.79 billion, as compared to $137.72 billion in the year-ago period, down 9.39 per cent.
In terms of exports, drugs, pharmaceuticals, rice, organic, and inorganic chemicals witnessed the top percentage increase in October 2020, as compared to the same month last year. In terms of imports, electronic goods, pearls, precious, semi-precious stones, and gold showed the top percentage increase in October 2020, as compared to the same period last year.
Similarly, in terms of exports, petroleum products, gems, jewelry, leather, and leather manufacturers showed the top decline in October 2020. In imports, transport equipment, petroleum, crude, and products, machinery, electrical and non-electrical, showed the top decline in October this year.
Oil imports were $5.98 billion, as compared to $9.73 billion in October 2019, a decline of 38.52%. Oil imports in April-October 2020-21 were $37.84 billion, as compared to $74.93 billion, showing a decline of 49.5 per cent.
The non-oil imports in October 2020 were estimated at $27.62 billion, as compared to $28.26 billion in October 2019, resulting in a decline of 2.26 per cent. Non-oil imports in April-October 2020-21 were $144.45 billion, as compared to $211.14 billion, registering a decline of 31.59 per cent during the same period of the last year.