Merchandise exports rise 28% year-on-year to $34.5 billion in January: government data


India’s exports grew at a slower pace in January, after recording the highest monthly shipments of goods on record in December, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday.

However, exports remained above the $30 billion mark for the eleventh straight month amid an increase in Omicron cases across the world. Merchandise exports rose 27.54% year-on-year (YoY) to $34.5 billion in January as demand for Indian goods remained robust.



Mechanical products, petroleum products, precious stones and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals, medicines and pharmaceuticals were the main export categories.

However, outbound shipments fell 8.7% sequentially. In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, exports totaled $335.88 billion, up more than 46% year-on-year. The government has set an export target of $400 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22 (FY22).

Imports also remained high, with shipments worth $51.93 billion entering the country, up 23.54 percent year-on-year. As a result, India was a net importer, with a trade deficit of $17.42 billion.


CIFAR Chief Economist Aditi Nayar said restrictions on mobility and demand for gold with the onset of the third wave helped push the merchandise trade deficit to a five-month low in January.

India imported gold worth $2.4 billion, down 40.5% year-on-year. However, on a cumulative basis, inbound shipments of gold rose 94% year-on-year to $40.4 billion from April to January, which experts said was due to pent-up demand. Gold is the second largest component of India’s import bill.

“In our view, the surge in gold imports in 2021 was driven by pent-up demand from 2020. We expect gold imports to moderate to $30-35 billion in 2022. We expect the deficit in the current account will widen to $26. 29 billion in the third quarter, before falling back to 15-17 billion in the fourth quarter,” Nayar said.

Non-oil and non-gems and jewelry exports, also an indication of domestic industrial demand, totaled $27.1 billion in January, up 19.4% year-on-year.

Prahalathan Iyer, chief managing director, research and analysis, India Exim Bank, said while export performance has been promising this year, imports have remained strong, particularly since September.

“The trade deficit is expected to reach the record level of $190 billion recorded in FY13. Nevertheless, the trade surplus generated in the services sector is expected to partially offset the deficit of more than $100 billion,” he said. said Iyer.

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always endeavored to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and that have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your constant encouragement and feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these challenging times stemming from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative opinions and incisive commentary on relevant topical issues.
However, we have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to bring you more great content. Our subscription model has received an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of bringing you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism we are committed to.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

digital editor