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india's trade deficit narrows to 17-months low of us$ 9.6 billion in february 2019
India's merchandise exports rose 2.4% to US$ 26.67 billion in February 2019 over a year ago. Meanwhile, merchandise imports dipped 5.4% to US$ 36.26 billion. The trade deficit plunged 22.0% to 17-month low of US$ 9.60 billion in February 2019 from US$ 12.30 billion in February 2018.

Oil imports declined 8.1% to US$ 9.38 billion, while the non-oil imports also fell 4.4% to US$ 26.89 billion in February 2019 over February 2018. The share of oil imports in total imports was 25.9% in February 2019, compared with 26.6% in February 2018. The price of India's basket of crude oil rose 1.6% to US$ 64.53 per barrel in February 2019 over February 2018.

Among the non-oil imports, the major contributors to the overall fall in imports were pearls, precious & semi-precious stones imports declining 17.5% to US$ 2.16 billion, transport equipment 19.6% to US$ 1.39 billion, gold 10.8% to US$ 2.58 billion, metaliferrous ores & other minerals 36.4% to US$ 0.48 billion and electronic goods 6.5% to US$ 3.77 billion, while imports of vegetable oil also fell 16.4% to US$ 0.71 billion, artificial resins, plastic materials etc 1.9% to US$ 1.16 billion, organic & inorganic chemicals 0.4% to US$ 1.75 billion.

However, the imports have increased for crude & manufactured fertilisers by 123.2% to US$ 0.50 billion, electrical & non-electrical machinery 6.9% to US$ 3.08 billion, iron & steel 16.9% to US$ 1.34 billion, coal, coke & briquettes etc 3.6% to US$ 2.00 billion and machine tools 15.5% to US$ 0.38 billion. The imports also improved for chemical material & products by 3.9% to US$ 0.56 billion, professional instrument, optical goods etc 4.9% to US$ 0.39 billion, medicinal & pharmaceutical products 2.9% to US$ 0.46 billion and non-ferrous metals 0.1% to US$ 1.02 billion in February 2019.

On exports front, the electronic goods recorded an increase in exports by 46.1% to US$ 0.87 billion, followed by drugs & pharmaceuticals 16.1% to US$ 1.61 billion, engineering goods 1.7% to US$ 6.66 billion, RMG of all textiles 7.2% to US$ 1.54 billion, organic & inorganic chemicals 4.1% to US$ 1.73 billion, plastic & linoleum 5.3% to US$ 0.62 billion, and ceramic products & glassware 16.0% to US$ 0.22 billion. The exports also improved for rice by 3.0% to US$ 0.73 billion, cotton yarn/fabrics/made-ups, handloom products etc 2.2% to US$ 0.88 billion, meat, dairy & poultry products 6.2% to US$ 0.29 billion, mica, coal & other ores, minerals including processed minerals 2.2% to US$ 0.35 billion and spices 2.0% to US$ 0.27 billion in February 2019.

However, the exports declined for handicrafts excluding handmade carpet by 3.2% to US$ 0.15 billion, fruits & vegetables 2.7% to US$ 0.26 billion and man-made yarn/fabrics/made-ups etc 2.4% to US$ 0.39 billion in February 2019. Further, the exports also fell for leather & leather products by 6.5% to US$ 0.40 billion, marine products 6.1% to US$ 0.43 billion, gems & jewellery 2.1% to US$ 3.73 billion, and petroleum products 7.7% to US$ 3.07 billion in February 2019.

Merchandise exports in rupees increased 13.3% to Rs 189931 crore, while imports moved up 4.7% to Rs 258272 crore in February 2019 over February 2018. The trade deficit rose to Rs 68340 crore in February 2019 compared with Rs 79196 crore in February 2018.

India's merchandise exports increased 8.5% to US$ 298.47 billion, while merchandise imports moved up 10.3% to US$ 464.00 billion in April-February 2019. An increase in imports was driven by a 31.3% jump in oil imports to US$ 128.72 billion. India's merchandise trade deficit rose to US$ 165.52 billion in April-February 2019 from US$ 145.50 billion in April-February 2018.

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