India's imports contracted 19.6% to USD 30.31 billion in September. It was USD 37.69 billion last year in the same month. The trade deficit has narrowed to USD 2.72 billion, compared to a surplus of USD 11.67 billion a year earlier.
Earlier this month, the Ministry published a "preliminary estimate" of trade results, according to which merchandise exports had risen by 5.3 per cent year on year in September.
After a six-month contract, India's exports increased by 5.99 per cent to USD 27.58 billion in September due to a rise in shipments of drugs and pharmaceuticals and ready-made apparel, as reported by the government on Thursday. Exports amounted to USD 26.02 billion in September 2019.
The move, initially driven by Japan, accelerated after the Covid-19 outbreak exposed China's unreliability as a supplier, in particular to those countries with which it shares lukewarm relations. India, Japan, Australia are planning to broaden the scope of the proposed supply-chain pact to counter ChinaGSTN 's capacity from 1.5 lakh concurrent users in June in anticipation of the proposed supply-chain pact.
"Export in September 2020 was USD 27.58 billion, compared to USD 26.02 billion in September 2019, with a positive growth rate of 5.99 per cent," the government said in a statement. During the period April to September 2020, exports decreased by 16.66 percent to USD 221.86 billion, while imports decreased by 35.43 percent to USD 204.12 billion over the same period last year.
Major export commodities with positive growth in September include iron ore (109.65 per cent at USD 303.42 million), ready-made clothing (10.22 per cent at USD 1.19 billion), rice (93.86 per cent at USD 725.14 million), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (24.38 per cent at USD 2.24 billion).
The data further revealed that non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in September amounted to USD 21.27 billion, compared to USD 19 billion in the same period in the previous fiscal year, with an increase of 11.94 per cent.
In September, oil imports fell by 35.88 per cent to USD 5.83 billion. During April-September, it decreased to USD 31.86 billion by 51.14 per cent. "In this connection, it is noted that the global Brent price (USD / bbl) decreased by 34.08 per cent in September 2020 compared to September 2019, based on data available from the World Bank," the statement said.
Taking merchandise and services together, the total trade surplus for April-September is estimated at USD 17.74 billion compared to the deficit of USD 49.91 billion in the previous year. The estimated value of services exports in September is USD 16.34 billion and that of imports is USD 9.49 billion. Since March, the country's outbound shipments have seen negative growth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decline in global demand.