India Balance of Trade

India's trade woes continue as trade deficit widens to 5-year high.

Published by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, RBI. Updated until May 2018. (Published on July 13th, 2018)  

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

Recent Data Trend

India's trade deficit worsened to a 5- year high of USD 16.6 billion in Jun'18, compared to a level of USD 13.8 billion in June last year. The widening deficit was due to costlier imports. It seems like India continues to face pressure on the external sector front amidst global trade tensions and retaliatory trade wars. 

The imports surged by 21.3% in the last one year to USD 44.3 billion in Jun'18 and much to blame were the oil imports which rose by 65.3% YoY, owing to 58.6% YoY rise in crude oil prices (Indian Basket).

Exports grew substantially but at a slower pace compared to the imports. Exports rose by 17.6% year-on-year (YoY) to USD 27.7 billion in Jun'18, mainly supported by petro-products, engineering goods, chemicals among others.

The quarterly performance deteriorated during Apr-Jun'18, as the trade deficit stood at USD 44.9 billion, over 5-year high. 

The worsening external sector has kept the pressure on the rupee which touched its lifetime low of 69 against the USD by end-Jun'18, following which RBI has been on the rescue keeping the rupee floating below 69.

We feel that the worsening trade deficit and a weaker rupee will add to the challenges for the government to support the growth recovery of the sixth largest economy.

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 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: July 13, 2018

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