India’s trade deficit for the month of June widened to $12.95 billion (Rs 83,241 crore), according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Friday, The Hindu reported. In June 2016, the trade deficit was $8.1 billion (Rs 52,065 crore).
Exports grew 4.39% to $23.5 billion (Rs 1,51,055 crore), while imports rose faster at 19% to $36.5 billion (Rs 2,34,618 crore).
Gold imports doubled from 2016 to $2.4 billion (Rs 15,426 crore). The trade deficit more than doubled to $40 billion (Rs 2,57,116 crore) from $19.2 billion (Rs 1,23,415 crore) in 2016 in the first fiscal quarter of 2017.
“An unabated surge in imports of gold and precious stones contributed to the wider-than-expected merchandise trade deficit of Rs 83,562 crore ($13 billion) in June 2017, even as merchandise exports printed in line with expectations,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.
Over half of the 30 export sectors showed a decline. “This is a cause of concern,” said Ajay Sahai, director-general at the Federation of Indian Exports Organisation. “This means the diversification policy of the government is not working.”
Oil imports in June rose 12.04% to $8.12 billion (Rs 52,194 crore).