India: Exports gain momentum in March, trade deficit narrows
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.