India Balance of Trade

India records first trade surplus since 2002 amidst demand slump.

Published by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, RBI. Updated till June 2019 (Published on July 16th, 2019). 

Note: The seasonally adjusted series has been obtained using the Eviews census X-13 procedure X-11 method of seasonal adjustment.

Recent Data Trend

On account of the current disruption in global trade due to the COVID-19 outbreak, India's export and imports of goods contracted for the fourth consecutive month by 12.4% YoY and 47.6% YoY in June 2020. On a brighter side, the contraction in exports of goods was relatively slower and India recorded a goods trade surplus of USD 0.8 billion for the first time since 2002. The downside is that the surplus was helped by a deeper contraction in imports, indicating a depressed domestic demand at home.

The import bill of goods has been falling since June 2019, reflecting weak domestic demand even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The current crisis has led to a rise in the pace of contraction in import bills as COVID-19 induced lockdown measures weakened economic activity and domestic demand. Oil imports, the biggest item in the import bill, declined by 55.3% YoY due to a fall in Indian oil consumption due to lockdown and reduced world oil prices.

India's overall trade balance (goods+services) recorded a surplus of USD 7.6 billion for the third consecutive month. This will translate into a current account surplus even in the April-June quarter. Although this may come across as positive news, there nothing to celebrate as the surplus is mainly attributed to lower domestic demand and a fall in crude oil prices.

Brief Overview

The balance of trade data records the value of merchandise trade of India with its trading partners. The data on import and export of the Indian economy is published by the Ministry of Commerce on a monthly basis. Merchandise trade is a key indicator of the development of the economy. India’s largest trade partners include US, EU, and China. India has maintained an overall trade deficit since 1990 and in the past decade, the deficit has increased manifold. According to the World Trade Organization, India’s share export of merchandise goods in 2015 was 1.5%.

For more information visit the official government website

Next Release Date:  August 14, 2020

Trade Balance- Quarterly

Trade Balance- Annual

Note: Here years represent fiscal years. For example, 2016 refers to the period Apr'2016-Mar'2017 and so on.

Export by Commodities

Note: The YoY% has been calculated on absolute USD values.

Import by Commodities

Note: The YoY% has been calculated on absolute USD values.

World Commodity Prices

Note: The above data has been sourced from the World Bank Pink Sheet which provides monthly data on the prices of commodities. To know more about this, visit the official website.