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Exports up 1% to $35 bn in Apr; trade deficit widens to 4-month high at $19.1 bn

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New Delhi: India's merchandise exports rose by 1 per cent to USD 34.99 billion in April even as the trade deficit widened to a four-month high of USD 19.1 billion during the month, according to government data.

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Healthy growth in sectors such as electronics, chemicals, petroleum products and pharmaceuticals has helped in registering positive growth in exports despite global economic uncertainties.

Imports also increased by 10.25 per cent to USD 54.09 billion in the month under review from USD 49.06 billion in April 2023 due to a significant jump in gold imports.

The imports of precious metals more than doubled to USD 3.11 billion in April this year. Crude oil imports rose by 20.22 per cent to USD 16.5 billion.

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Trade deficit, or the gap between imports and exports, in April 2023 stood at USD 14.44 billion. The previous high in the deficit was recorded in December 2023 at USD 19.8 billion.

In March 2024, the outbound shipments dipped to USD 41.68 billion from USD 41.96 billion a year ago.

Briefing media on the data, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said the figures show that the new fiscal year started on a good note and hoped that it would continue.

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He informed that the data for the country's total exports in goods and services for 2023-24 has been revised to USD 778.21 billion, which is the "highest" so far. Merchandise exports in the last fiscal was aggregated at USD 437.1 billion, while services exports stood at USD 341.1 billion.

In merchandise exports, 13 of the 30 key sectors exhibited positive growth in April as compared to same period last year. These include coffee, tobacco, spices, plastic and handicrafts.

According to the commerce ministry data, released on Wednesday, the estimated value of services exports for April is USD 29.57 billion compared to USD 25.78 billion in April 2023.

Imports of services are estimated to be increased to USD 16.97 billion during the month as compared to USD 13.96 billion in April 2023.

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