Imports during 2020-21 contracted by 18 per cent to USD 388.92 billion compared to USD 474.71 billion during 2019-20. In March 2020, the exports stood at USD 21.49 billion, which was a decline of about 34 per cent over March 2019 due to global slowdown induced by the Covid-19 crisis. “India’s merchandise exports in March 2021 were USD 34.0 billion as compared to USD 21.49 billion in March 2020, an increase of 58.23 per cent,” the ministry said in a statement.
It said that “first time ever in a month”, the exports crossed USD 34 billion. Imports too rose by 52.89 per cent to USD 48.12 billion as against USD 31.47 billion in March 2020. The trade deficit during the month widened to USD 14.12 billion as against USD 9.98 billion in March 2020. In March, oil imports grew by 1.22 per cent to USD 10.17 billion. During 2020-21, oil imports dipped by 37 per cent to USD 82.25 billion.
Non-oil imports in March were up by 777.12 per cent to USD 37.95 billion. During the full fiscal, the imports contracted by 10.89 per cent to USD 306.67 billion. Gold imports jumped to USD 7.17 billion during the month under review.
Federation of Indian Exports Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said that despite issues related with container shortage and movement of ships Suez Canal, the exports have crossed USD 290 billion. “It is extremely good growth looking into COVID-19 challenges,” he said.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)