India: Exports and imports plummet in March
Merchandise exports decreased 34.6% in March from the same month a year earlier, contrasting the 2.9% increase in February and amounting to a total value of USD 21.4 billion. The decrease in shipments in March was broad based across the economy, with 29 out of the 30 major categories of shipments registering falls in the month, and due to the coronavirus pandemic hitting external demand. Merchandise imports, meanwhile, slumped 28.7% in March, contrasting the 2.5% increase in February and amounting to USD 31.2 billion; imports of oil, which constitute around one-third of total merchandise imports, fell 15.0%.
The merchandise trade deficit narrowed to USD 9.8 billion from the USD 11.0 billion shortfall in the same month a year earlier. The 12-month trailing sum of the trade deficit narrowed to USD 152.9 billion in March from USD 154.1 billion in February.