October 14 2017

India Balance of Trade

India's trade deficit in September 2017 stood at USD 8.98 billion, contracting by 1.4% from a year ago.

Published by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, RBI. Updated till the month of September 2017. (Published on October 13th, 2017.)

Note: Seasonally adjusted series of Export, Import, and Trade balance are our (IMA) own calculation. Method of seasonal adjustment: US Census Bureau X-13 ARIMA seasonal adjustment program was used. Transform Logarithmic transformation. Automatic outliers: Additive, level shift, temporary change and seasonal. ARIMA model: TRAMO Auto.

Recent Data Trend

In September 2017, India's trade deficit was USD 8.98 billion, a contraction of 1.4% from a year ago. 

Total exports in the month of September was USD 28.61 billion, a growth of 25.67% year on year(YoY). The rise in exports is mainly due to rise in exports of engineering goods, petroleum products and chemicals. The cumulative value of exports for the period April-September 2017-18 was USD 14.71 billion, an increase of 11.52% from a year ago.

Total imports in September 2017 rose at a subdued pace of 18.09% YoY to reach USD 37.59 billion.  Among the sub-components, oil imports rose by 18.47% YoY to reach USD 8.19 billion. The rise in the value of oil imports is due to the 19.42% YoY increase in the oil prices in the international market in September 2017. Non-oil imports stood at USD 29.41 billion, a rise of 17.48% from a year ago. Major import items in August were crude petroleum and its products, machinery and electronic goods and pearls, precious and semi-precious stones. The downward pull in the value of imports was caused by a decline in import of gold and transport equipment.

The increase in exports in September may be a temporary relief for the economy but it may not be sustainable in the absence of any effective structural reform to promote export growth. If the growth in exports is carried forward into the coming months, it might provide the necessary boost to the GDP of India. 

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 for 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: Second week of November 2017