InvestorQ : Is it true that the export performance of Indian trade is picking up in the month of January as per early data?
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Is it true that the export performance of Indian trade is picking up in the month of January as per early data?

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Priyanka N answered.
2 months ago
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In the last few months, months the government has started releasing the trade data quite early rather than wait till the middle of the month for the actual trade data. Now it has also started releasing the data for imports and exports on a weekly basis. This gives a much more granular picture of high frequency trade data to do a real time comparison.

For the first week of Jan-21, India’s merchandise exports were up 16.22% on a YOY basis at $6.21 billion as per early data provided. Of course, this data is not conclusive and need not be representative of the trend for the full month. Growth in exports during the first week of Jan-21 was driven by pharmaceuticals and engineering sectors.

Let us look at some actual number of imports too. During the first week of Jan-21, imports were up marginally by 1.07% at $8.7 billion. That means on a weekly basis, Indian economy was still having a trade deficit. Non petroleum imports were up by 6.56%. This data is important as total imports in December 2020 had grown by 7.6% to $42.6 billion.

Also, the trade deficit for Dec-20 as per early estimates was relatively higher at $15.7 billion. Compared to that, the first week of Jan-21 hints at a better trade deficit picture. For an economy like India it is important to keep the merchandise trade in deficit in check so that the current account can be maintained in surplus position for the next quarter too.

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