Business News

India’s export drops by over 1%, trade deficit widens to near 3-year high

Experts said that this decline in exports was expected as exporters were facing a shortage of funds after paying GST for four months without any refund.

India’s trade deficit widened to its highest in 35 months in October as merchandise exports declined for the first time in 14 months, government data showed.

Exports during October 2017 were valued at US $23,098.18 million as compared to $23,360.61 million during October 2016, registering a decline of 1.12%, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

Imports, meanwhile, expanded at the slowest pace in 10 months, at 7.6%. Imports during October 2017 were valued at US $37,117.01 million as compared to US $34,495.09 million in the same period in 2016.

The trade deficit for October 2017 was estimated at $14,018.83 million as against the deficit of $11,134.48 million during the corresponding period in 2016, the ministry said.

Exports of plastic and linoleum (24.5%), chemicals (22.3%), petroleum products (14.7%), engineering goods (11.7%) and marine products (8.52%) grew.

Export of ready-made garments (39.2%), gems and jewellery (24.5%), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (8.8%) declined, Mint reported.

Imports of coal (66.3%), petroleum, crude and products (27.9%), chemicals (30.5%), machinery (17.4%), and electronics goods (7%) expanded in October.

“The decline in exports was expected because exporters were struggling with a liquidity crunch after paying the Goods and Services Tax for four months in a row without getting any refund,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Ganesh Kumar Gupta told Mint.

“Though the merchandise trade deficit rose sharply in October, it may not be a source of alarm,” Principal Economist at Icra, Aditi Nayar, was quoted as saying. She said that the average trade deficit for September-October is in line with the trend during July and August.

“The contraction in merchandise exports in October partly reflects an unfavourable base effect, as well as upfronting of shipments to the previous month,” she added.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

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Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.