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March 15, 2024

India’s Exports Soar to USD 41.4 Billion in February, Marking 11-Month High Amidst Global Challenges

India’s export sector witnessed a remarkable surge in February, reaching a significant milestone amidst a backdrop of global uncertainties. According to recent data released by the commerce ministry, the country recorded its highest monthly exports in 11 months, totaling USD 41.4 billion, showcasing an impressive growth rate of 11.9 percent.

This surge in exports comes alongside a rise in the trade deficit, which stood at USD 18.7 billion, reflecting an increase from USD 16.57 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year. The surge in the trade deficit was primarily attributed to a substantial increase in gold imports, which rose by 133.82 percent to USD 6.15 billion in February.

Merchandise imports also witnessed a notable uptick, reaching USD 60.11 billion, marking a 12.16 percent increase compared to the same period last year. This rise in imports was driven by various factors, including heightened demand for gold and other commodities.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal expressed optimism about India’s export performance, noting that despite global challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and economic recessions in certain regions, the February exports surpassed expectations. He highlighted that the ongoing fiscal year had seen the highest export growth in 11 months, both in terms of merchandise and overall exports, which is a positive sign for the economy.

Barthwal further emphasized that India’s overall exports are poised to surpass the record levels achieved in the previous fiscal years, indicating sustained growth and resilience in the country’s export sector.

Key drivers of this export growth included engineering goods, electronic items, pharmaceutical products, and petroleum goods. Engineering goods exports saw a significant increase of 15.9 percent, reaching USD 9.94 billion, while electronic goods shipments surged by an impressive 54.81 percent, totaling USD 3 billion.

Moreover, exports of organic and inorganic chemicals rose by 33.04 percent to USD 2.95 billion, highlighting the diversification of India’s export basket. The pharmaceutical sector also performed well, with exports witnessing a growth of 22.24 percent annually, contributing substantially to the overall export figures.

Despite challenges posed by the global economic landscape, India’s overall exports, including merchandise and services, in April-February 2023-24, are estimated to be USD 709.81 billion, reflecting a growth of 0.83 percent over the same period last fiscal year. However, imports during the same period contracted by 4.64 percent, totaling USD 782.05 billion, leading to an improvement in the overall trade deficit.

The commerce ministry highlighted that the overall trade deficit improved significantly by 37.8 percent from USD 116.13 billion in April-February 2022-23 to USD 72.24 billion in April-February 2023-24. Merchandise trade deficit also showed improvement, decreasing by 8.43 percent from USD 245.94 billion to USD 225.20 billion during the same period.

In conclusion, India’s robust export performance in February underscores the resilience of its economy amidst global challenges. With sustained growth across key sectors, the country is well-positioned to maintain its upward trajectory in international trade, contributing to overall economic stability and growth.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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