India Trade March 2019


India: Exports gain momentum in March, trade deficit narrows

April 15, 2019

Merchandise export growth in annual terms accelerated to 11.0% in March, noticeably up from 2.4% in February. The expansion was underpinned by increased exports of chemicals; engineering goods; ready-made garments; and drugs and pharmaceuticals. Merchandise imports, meanwhile, increased 1.4% in March, contrasting the 5.4% decrease in February. Higher imports in March were largely due to a rise in oil imports, given they rose 5.6%. On the other hand, imports of coal, chemicals and machinery decreased.

The merchandise trade deficit was USD 10.9 billion in March, which represented a notably reduction from USD 13.5 billion in the same month a year earlier. The deficit grew, however, from the USD 9.6 billion shortfall in the previous month. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing sum of the trade deficit shrank for the fourth consecutive month to USD 176.4 billion in March, down from USD 179.0 billion in February.

Our panelists forecast that exports will expand 20.1% in FY 2018 and imports will rise 18.2%, bringing the merchandise trade deficit to USD 193.0 billion. In FY 2019, we expect exports and imports will expand 7.7% and 6.7% respectively, which would result in a merchandise trade deficit of USD 199.0 billion.

Author:, Economist

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India Trade Chart

India Trade12m March 2019

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry and FocusEconomics calculations.

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