The trade deficit for the month of August has come in almost flat at USD 12.48 billion against USD 12.81 billion month-on-month (MoM), even as imports dipped 9.95 percent to USD 33.74 billion versus USD 35.95 billion MoM. Merchandise exports plunged 20.7 per cent to $21.3 billion in August from $26.8 billion in the year-ago period, the ninth consecutive monthly decline and the steepest in the first five months of this financial year. In terms of a monthly year tally, exports are at multi-year lows. The fall resulted from a massive demand slowdown in global markets and an uncertain global economic environment, owing to a crisis in China.
The value of exports in August was the lowest in about five years. For April-August, exports from India stood at $111.1 billion, down 16.2 per cent compared with $132.5 billion in the year-ago period, according to data released by the commerce and industry ministry on Tuesday. Meanwhile, oil imports for the month declined significantly to come in at USD 7.36 billion against USD 9.49 billion MoM. Gold imports on the other hand surged to USD 4.96 billion against USD 2.97 billion in July. Non-oil imports remained largely unchanged at USD 26.39 billion against USD 26.46 billion MoM. Silver imports for the month stood at USD 363.41 million versus USD 277.77 million MoM. For the period between April and August, trade data came in at USD 57.52 billion versus USD 58.22 billion year-on-year, with imports coming in at USD 168.61 billion against USD 190.75 billion YoY and exports at USD 111.09 billion versus USD 132.53 billion during the same period last year. India wasn’t the only Asian country to see a steep fall in exports. A YES Bank note said exports from Korea declined 14.7 per cent in August, the most in six years, while those from China contracted 5.5 per cent.
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