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Sept trade deficit widens to $14.25 bn on gold imports

Exports grew 2.73 percent at USD 28.90 billion (YoY), while imports jumped 25.96 percent at USD 43.15 billion (YoY).

September trade deficit widened to USD 14.25 billion versus USD 10.84 million in August. Exports grew 2.73 percent year-on-year (YoY) to USD 28.90 billion and imports jumped 25.96 percent to USD 43.15 billion (YoY).

The big contributors to the import bill were gold and non-oil items, with gold imports rising to USD 3.75 billion versus USD 2.04 billion (MoM) and non-oil imports rising 36.2 percent to USD 28.65 billion (YoY). Oil imports rose 9.7 percent to USD 14.50 billion (YoY). Silver imports too grew to USD 477.61 million versus USD 245.14 million (MoM). Gems and jewellery exports too rose to USD 4.4 billion versus USD 3.23 billion (MoM).

For April-September period, exports stood at USD 163.70 billion versus USD 153.75 billion (YoY), while imports stood at USD 234.10 billion versus USD 230.48 billion (YoY). The trade deficit for the same period stood at USD 70.4 billion versus USD 76.72 billion (YoY).

Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Chief Economic Advisor,  State Bank of India feels coal too may have added to the import bill. On non-oil imports, he says throughout the year, it has been trading higher coming off a low base.

But Ghosh says it is a matter of concern that the trade deficit has widened to USD 14 billion plus, even if it is a one-off event. However, he doesn’t see much of an upside to the trade deficit number from USD 13-14 billion for the next 3-4 months.

For complete interview watch accompanying videos


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