India's exports and imports contract by 8% in February
India's trade deficit, the difference between exports and imports, declined narrowly to $17.43 billion in February from $18.75 billion in the same month last year. The dip in the trade deficit was driven by a fall in total imports. As per data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, imports fell by around 8% year-over-year to $51.31 billion from $55.90 billion.
Merchandise exports fell by 8.8% in February
It wasn't just the trade deficit and imports that fell in February 2023. India's exports also took a hit last month. Merchandise exports fell from $37.15 billion to $33.8 billion, an 8.8% year-over-year dip. However, exports in the service category rose by around 32% year-over-year to $36.85 billion. In the service category, imports increased by 12%.
India aims to achieve $750bn in exports in FY23
Between April 2022 and February 2023, India's overall merchandise exports increased by 7.5% to $405.94 billion. The rise in exports was driven by the sale of petroleum products and electronic goods. During the same period, imports rose by 18.82% to $653.47 billion. India has set a target of $750 billion worth of exports in FY23, which is higher than FY22's $676 billion.
Figures are very encouraging: Commerce Secretary
Speaking about India's numbers, commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal said, "The figures are very encouraging, we have been able to keep the momentum." "After seeing the trend we can say we would be exceeding the target for FY23," he added. According to him, the increase in India's merchandise exports is "not bad" considering the troubled times.
Exim Bank projects India's merchandise export to grow
In the meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has projected India's merchandise exports in FY23 to eclipse FY22's figures. Per India's premier export financing institution, merchandise exports will hit $447.3 billion in FY23. In FY22, India recorded an all-time high of $422 billion. Diversification of its export destinations has helped India deal with the general economic slowdown.