India’s merchandise exports fell by 60.28% to $10.36 billion (around Rs 78,529 crore) in April. Imports shrank by 58.65% to $17.12 billion (around Rs 1.29 lakh crore), leaving a trade deficit of $6.8 billion (around Rs 51,554 crore), as like the economy continued to struggle because of the nationwide lockdown imposed to combat the corona virus pandemic situation.
While exports in April stood at the lowest level since November 2006, imports were their lowest in over 11 years. In March, India’s merchandise exports slumped by a record 34.6% while imports declined 28.7%.
Only iron ore and pharmaceuticals showed positive growth, out of 30 major exporting items. While iron ore exports grew to 17.5%, pharmaceutical exports grew a measly 0.25%.
The fall in exports was led by a decline in the sale of gems and jewellery by 98.74%, engineering goods by 64.76%, electronic goods by 71.04%, petroleum products by 66.22%, and organic and inorganic chemicals by 41.93%, according to Trading Economics.
As it said – “The wide range of possibilities for the predicted decline is explained by the unprecedented nature of this health crisis and the uncertainty around its precise economic impact. But WTO economists believe the decline will likely exceed the trade slump brought on by the global financial crisis of 2008‑09”.
The Indian economy is projected for growing at 0.2% for 2020, in accordance to the credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service. The agency projected late last month that all advanced economies of the G20 group would shrink by 5.8% amid the year.
P.M. Narendra Modi had on May 11 announced a special economic package of Rs 20-lakh crore to bail out economy.
India had so far reported that 81,970 cases of Covid-19, including with 2,549 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Globally, over 44.7 lakh people have been infected, and about 3.03 lakh have died.