After contracting for six months in a row, the country’s exports grew by 5.27% year-on-year to $27.4 billion in September, while imports slipped by 19.6% to $30.31 billion, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday.The trade deficit during the month under review narrowed to $2.91 billion as against $11.67 billion in the same period of 2019. The exports in September last year stood at $26.02 billion.Exports during April-September this fiscal dipped by 21.4% to $125.06 billion. Imports during the period stood at $148.69 billion, recording a contraction of 40%. Commodities that registered growth in exports in September include iron ore (109.5%), rice (92.4%), oil meals (43.9%), carpet (42.9%), pharmaceuticals (24.4), meat, dairy and poultry products (19.9%), cotton yarn/fabrics/madeups, handloom products (14.8%), tobacco (11.1%), spices (10%), petroleum products (4.17%), engineering goods (3.73), chemicals (2.87%), and coffee (0.79%). The Ministry said that in September 2020, oil imports fell 35.9% to $5.82 billion. During April-September 2020-21, it contracted 51.1% to $31.85 billion. Non-oil imports in September too declined by 14.4% to $24.48 billion. The imports during the first half of the current fiscal declined 36.1% to $116.83 billion, the preliminary data showed.Gold imports slumpGold imports plunged by 52.9% during September this year.Since March, exports had been recording contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic and sluggish global demand.
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