India’s merchandise exports fell for the second consecutive month in August, going down by a marginal 0.30 per cent. Exports fell to $21.51 billion in August, against $21.58 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to recent government data. In July, exports had contracted 6.84 per cent, to $21.68 billion.
Cumulative exports for the April-August period of FY17 stood at $108.51 billion, compared with $111.85 billion for the corresponding period in FY16. Imports also declined by 14.09 per cent to $29.19 billion in August, compared with the year-ago period, when it was $33.98 billion. Cumulative imports in the current financial year reached $143.18 billion, compared with $170.23 billion in the previous year.
Exports had contracted for 19 consecutive months till May this year, before rising marginally by 1.27 per cent in June. Compared to this, during the 2008-09 global financial meltdown, the decline was for nine months in a row. In the last financial year (2015-16), total exports had stood at $261 billion. This was a 15.85 per cent decline from the over $310 billion worth of trade conducted by India in the year before.
Exports of major exchange earners like ready-made textile goods and gems and jewellery also rose by 3.72 and 7.58 per cent, respectively. While textiles had fallen by nearly six per cent in June, gems and jewellery had risen by 8.80 per cent.