India's merchandise exports in October 2020 fell 5.4 per cent to $24.82 billion, as compared to $26.23 billion in the same month last year as Covid-19 pandemic shrank global demand for oil, resulting in sharp contraction of petroleum products exports from the country.
Exports during April-October 2020-21 also declined 19.05 per cent to $150.07 billion as global economies remain subdued affecting trade.
The value of India's merchandise imports in October 2020 was $33.6 billion, as compared to $37.99 billion in October 2019, a decline of 11.56 per cent. Merchandise imports during April-October 2020-21 were $182.29 billion, as compared to $286.07 billion during the same period last year, exhibiting a negative growth of 36.28 per cent.
India was, thus, a net importer in October with a trade deficit of $8.78 billion, as compared to trade deficit of $11.76 billion, an improvement by 25.34 per cent, a Commerce Ministry statement said.
As the ministry release, in October, the value of non-petroleum exports stood at $23.21 billion, registering a positive growth of 1.84 per cent over October 2019. The value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in October 2020 was $20.28 billion, as compared to $19.07 billion in October 2019, registering a positive growth of 6.34 per cent.
In October, oil imports were $5.98 billion, as compared to $9.73 billion in October 2019, a decline by 38.52 per cent.
Non-oil imports were estimated at $27.62 billion, as compared to $28.26 billion in October 2019, showing a decline of 2.26 per cent.
Major commodities of export which have recorded positive growth during October 2020 vis-a-vis October 2019 are: cereals (369.30 per cent), Rice (112.15 per cent), oilmeal (76.62 per cent), iron ore (73.89 per cent), oilseeds (54.06 per cent), carpet (37.67 per cent), ceramic products and glassware (34.62 per cent), drugs and pharmaceuticals (21.82 per cent), and spices (21.61 per cent) etc.
But, exports in the month largely remained affected due to negative growth recorded in October by petroleum products (53.30 per cent), cashew (21.57 per cent), gems and jewellery (21.27 per cent), leather and leather manufactures (16.69 per cent), man-made yarn/fabrics/made-ups etc. (12.82 per cent) etc.