New Delhi, Apr 15 (PTI) The country's exports surged by 60.29 per cent to a monthly record high of USD 34.45 billion in March on growth in sectors such as engineering, gems and jewellery and pharmaceuticals, even as the outbound shipments contracted by 7.26 per cent during the full 2020-21 fiscal to USD 290.63 billion.
Imports too grew by 53.74 per cent to USD 48.38 billion in March, but dipped by 18 per cent to USD 389.18 billion during April-March 2020-21, according to the Commerce Ministry data released on Thursday.
Trade deficit during March 2021 widened to USD 13.93 billion from USD 9.98 billion in March 2020. The trade deficit during the full fiscal, however, narrowed to USD 98.56 billion as against USD 161.35 billion during 2019-20, the data showed.
Product categories that recorded positive growth during March include carpet (89.84 per cent), gems and jewellery (78.93 per cent), engineering goods (71.3 per cent), rice (66.77 per cent), spices (60.42 per cent), pharmaceuticals (48.49 per cent), chemicals (46.5 per cent), marine products (40.81 per cent), petroleum products (35.52 per cent), coffee (23.27 per cent), and tea (8 per cent).
The export growth of 60.29 per cent in March this year is the highest after about 82 per cent growth recorded in July 2011.
Sectors that saw negative growth during March are oilseeds (-6.45 per cent) and cashew (-1.99 per cent).
Import sectors which recorded negative growth during the month include silver, transport equipment, pulses and fertiliser.
Oil imports in March grew by 2.23 per cent to USD 10.27 billion in March. During April-March 2020-21, the imports dipped by 36.92 per cent to USD 82.35 billion.
Gold imports during the month increased to USD 8.49 billion from USD 1.22 billion in March 2020.
Commenting on the numbers, Federation of Indian Exports Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that since 'we have momentum with us, we should aim at exports of USD 350 billion in this financial year so that we not only cover the lost ground but also help the economy move to much needed double digit growth'.
He also urged the government to soon notify the RoDTEP ( remission of duties and taxes on export products) rates to remove uncertainty. PTI RR MR MR