Trade deficit more than doubles to $28 billion in August

NEW DELHI: Exports went up 1.6% to $33.9 billion in August, compared to a 1% decrease estimated earlier, while imports shot up 37% to $62 billion, pushing up the trade deficit to $28 billion, more than twice last year‘s level. Engineering goods, gems & jewellery, readymade garments and other segments of textiles were among sectors that witnessed a steep decline as demand for several items in developed markets dropped due to the slowdown.
Exporters’ body Fieo said that in sectors such as engineering goods & plastics, a fall in commodity prices resulted in a decrease in the value of shipments and pegged the full-year estimate at around $470 billion, compared to $422 billion last year. The government has set a $450-billion target for goods exports for the current fiscal.
“Global trade is slowing down and the WTO‘s revised numbers, due in October, will further point to a moderation. Freight rates on some major routes have dropped by 50%… We do not expect to see the kind of growth we saw last year when we added $130 billion to our exports this year, but we expect it to be over $470 billion,” said Fieo director general Ajay Sahay.

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