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Trade Deficit Narrows to Nearly $21 Billion in November

India’s economic landscape in November 2023 witnessed a decline in merchandise exports by 2.83%, totaling $33.90 billion, compared to $34.89 billion in the corresponding month the previous year. This downturn, however, contributed to a positive trend in the trade deficit, which narrowed to $20.58 billion, as revealed by government data released by the Commerce Ministry.

Trade Scenario Overview (April-November 2023)

  1. Export Contraction: The overall merchandise trade scenario for April-November 2023 depicted a 6.51% contraction in exports, amounting to $278.80 billion.
  2. Import Reduction: Imports experienced a 4.33% reduction, standing at $54.48 billion in November 2023. Import figures for the cumulative period of April-November 2023 recorded an 8.67% decrease, reaching $445.15 billion.

Factors Influencing Imports

  1. Oil Imports Decline: The decrease in imports was notably attributed to a significant decline in oil imports, falling from $139.29 billion in April-November 2022-23 to $113.65 billion in the corresponding period of FY2023-24.
  2. Positive Trade Deficit Shift: The cumulative trade deficit for April-November 2023 was estimated at $166.35 billion, showcasing a positive shift from the $189.21 billion reported during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Sectoral Performance

  1. Positive Growth Sectors: Sectors such as electronics, iron ore, and pharmaceuticals registered positive growth.
  2. Contracting Import Segments: Conversely, segments experiencing a decline in inbound shipments included coal, coke; pearls, precious and semi-precious stones; and fertilizers.

Specific Import Details

  1. Gold Imports Increase: Gold imports recorded a notable increase of 21% to $32.93 billion.
  2. Electronic Goods: Imports of electronic goods rose to $57.83 billion during April-November 2023-24, compared to $51.89 billion in the same period last year.

Monthly Fluctuations

  1. Gold Imports in November: In November, gold imports saw a 6.24% rise, reaching $3.44 billion.
  2. Oil Imports in November: However, oil imports during the month dipped by 8.47% to $14.93 billion.

Export Performance in October

  1. October Growth: In contrast to November, exports in October had shown a growth of 6.21%.

Services Export Overview

  1. Estimated Service Exports: The estimated value of services exported for November is $28.69 billion, compared to $26.93 billion in November 2022.
  2. Eight-Month Period: Over the eight-month period, service exports stood at $220.66 billion against $208.30 billion in April-November 2022.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q: What was the percentage decline in India’s merchandise exports in November 2023?

A: India experienced a 2.83% decline in merchandise exports, totaling $33.90 billion in November 2023.

Q: How did the trade deficit perform during the same period?

A: The trade deficit showed a positive trend, narrowing to $20.58 billion in November 2023.

Q: What contributed to the reduction in imports?

A: Imports decreased by 4.33%, amounting to $54.48 billion in November 2023, primarily attributed to a notable decline in oil imports.

Q: What was the overall merchandise trade scenario for April-November 2023?

A: There was a 6.51% contraction in exports, totaling $278.80 billion during April-November 2023.

 

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