34.57% dip in March’s exports
Due to a steep decline in shipments of leather, gems and jewellery and petroleum products, India’s exports dipped by a 34.57% in March -the steepest fall in monthly exports since 2008-09, when shipments dipped by 33.3% in March 2009. Merchandise exports in March stood at US$ 21.41 billion down from US$ 32.72 billion in the same month last year. Consequently, the country’s total exports in 2019-20 were down to US$ 314.31 billion.
India’s imports too contracted by 28.72% to US$$31.16 billion; the steepest decline since November 2015, when imports declined by 30.26%. These developments led to the narrowing of trade deficit in March to $9.76 billion, the lowest in the last 13 months, when it was US$ 9.6 billion.
“The decline in exports has been mainly due to the ongoing global slowdown, which got aggravated due to the current Covid-19 crisis. The latter resulted in large scale disruptions in supply chains and demand resulting in cancellation of orders,” the Commerce & Industry Ministry explained.