Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Exports up 60% in Mar; fall over 7% to $34.45 bn

Imports grow by 53.74% to $48.38 billion in March, but dipped by 18% to $389.18 bn during April-March 2020-21

- OUR CPRRESPOND­ENT

NEW DELHI: The country’s exports surged by 60.29 per cent to a monthly record high of $34.45 billion in March on growth in sectors such as engineerin­g, gems and jewellery and pharmaceut­icals, even as the outbound shipments contracted by 7.26 per cent during the full 2020-21 fiscal to $290.63 billion.

Imports too grew by 53.74 per cent to $48.38 billion in March, but dipped by 18 per cent to $389.18 billion during April-March 2020-21, according to the Commerce Ministry data released on Thursday.

Trade deficit during March 2021 widened to $13.93 billion from $9.98 billion in March 2020.

The trade deficit during the full fiscal, however, narrowed to $98.56 billion as against $161.35 billion during 201920, the data showed.

Product categories that recorded positive growth during March include carpet (89.84 per cent), gems and jewellery (78.93 per cent), engineerin­g goods (71.3 per cent), rice (66.77 per cent), spices (60.42 per cent), pharmaceut­icals (48.49 per cent), chemicals (46.5 per cent), marine products (40.81 per cent), petroleum products (35.52 per cent), coffee (23.27 per cent), and tea (8 per cent).

The export growth of 60.29 per cent in March this year is the highest after about 82 per cent growth recorded in July 2011.

Sectors that saw negative growth during March are oilseeds (-6.45 per cent) and cashew (-1.99 per cent).

Import sectors which recorded negative growth during the month include silver, transport equipment, pulses and fertiliser.

Oil imports in March grew by 2.23 per cent to $10.27 billion in March. During AprilMarch 2020-21, the imports dipped by 36.92 per cent to $82.35 billion.

Gold imports during the month increased to $8.49 billion from $1.22 billion in March 2020.

Commenting on the numbers, Federation of Indian Exports Organisati­ons (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that since “we have momentum with us, we should aim at exports of $350 billion in this financial year so that we not only cover the lost ground but also help the economy move to much needed double digit growth”.

He also urged the government to soon notify the RoDTEP ( remission of duties and taxes on export products) rates to remove uncertaint­y.

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