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Exports continue to fall in Jan.


As global demand for key products and commodity prices continued to be low, the country’s goods exports fell again in January 2016, the 14th consecutive month of decline, with shipments dropping 13.60 per cent to $ 21.07 billion from $24.39 billion.


The decline was spread across sectors such as petroleum products, engineering products, readymade garments, leather products, chemicals, rice and cereals, and marine products, official data showed.


Imports during the month too fell 11.01 per cent to $28.71 billion, resulting in the narrowing of the trade deficit to $7.63 billion, from $7.87 billion in the same month of the previous fiscal. Gold imports increased 85 per cent to $2.91 billion, while petroleum imports dropped 39 per cent to $5.02 billion because of low global prices.


An official release from the Commerce Ministry said that the trend of falling exports is in tandem with other major world economies like the US, the EU and China over the corresponding period.


Exporters of engineering goods, the sector which witnessed a decline of 27 per cent in January, do not expect things to improve in the immediate future. Mr T. S. Bhasin, Engineering Export Promotion Council Chairman, said, "It is not only the drop in commodity prices which has resulted in loss of value in the shipments; the demand in the global markets has also remained subdued. Over-valuation of the rupee, after adjusting against domestic retail inflation, is also eating into the competitiveness of Indian exports."


Whereas petroleum exports dropped sharply by 35.18 per cent in January to $1.95 billion (fall in oil prices), non-petroleum exports were valued at $ 19.11 billion, which was 10.55 per cent lower than the previous year’s exports.


The total value of exports for the period April-January 2015-16 was $217.67 billion as against $264.322 billion in the same period last fiscal. Total value of imports for the 10 months was $324.52 billion, as against $383.87 billion.


Source: Exim News Service: NEW DELHI, Feb. 16


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