The country's merchandise exports rose 21.35 per cent to $33.44 billion in September 2021 on an annual basis, driven by key sectors such as engineering goods and petroleum products, according to government data. Merchandise imports stood at $56.38 billion last month, registering an increase of 84.75 per cent compared to the year-ago period, when it was at $30.52 billion. Imports were up 49.58 per cent compared to September 2019 when it was at $37.69 billion.
In September 2021, the trade deficit - the gap between imports and exports, stood at $22.94 billion as gold imports jumped almost 750 per cent to $5.11 billion. Trade deficit stood at $78.81 billion during the April-September period, according to data by the commerce industry.
The value of non-petroleum exports in September stood at $28.53 billion - a growth of 18.72 per cent against the year-ago period and 26.32 per cent higher compared to September 2019.
Exports of engineering goods stood at $9.42 billion - 36.7 per cent higher compared to the year-ago period. The outward shipments of petroleum is estimated at $4.91 billion in September, registering an increase of 39.32 per cent over the year-ago period. However, the exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals registered a decline of 8.47 per cent.
Additionally, the imports of petroleum, crude and products rose almost 200 per cent to $17.436 billion in September on an annual basis. Similarly, the value of non-petroleum imports was at $38.95 billion in September - an increase of 57.73 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, and 36.14 per cent over September 2019.
Data showed that the exports in the first half of the current fiscal - April-September 2021 stood at $197.11 billion. This marked an increase of 56.92 per cent, compared to $125.61 billion in the year-ago period and 23.84 per cent compared to April-September 2019 period.