Exports in September 2019 were $26.02 billion. Gold imports shrank 52.85% last month.
“India is thus a net importer in September 2020…showing a substantial improvement of 75.06%,” the ministry said in a statement.
Non-oil, non-gold imports- an indicator of the strength of domestic demand- declined 13.29% on-year last month.
“The y-o-y growth in merchandise exports in September 2020 is heartening, after the faltering trend seen in the previous month. Regardless, the sharp gap in non-oil non gold merchandise imports remains a cause for concern regarding the strength of domestic demand,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.
Exports in the April-September period fell 21.43% to $125.06 billion while imports declined 40.06% at $148.69 billion.
As per the data, only eight out of 31 major sectors of export declined last month.
Commodities that registered positive growth in exports in September include iron ore (109.52%), rice (92.44 %), oil meals (43.9 %), carpet (42.89 %) and pharmaceuticals (24.36 %).
Drugs and pharmaceuticals, rice and engineering goods witnessed the highest increase in export growth while gems and jewellery, man-made yarn/fabric/made ups and marine products saw sharp declines in outbound shipments.
The ministry said that in September, oil imports fell 35.92% to $5.82 billion while non-oil imports declined 14.41% to $24.48 billion.
Major commodity groups of import showing a decline in growth in September were silver (-93.92%), cotton raw and waste (-82.02%), newsprint, (-62.44%), gold (-52.85%) and transport equipment (47.08%).