India’s trade deficit widened to a record $24.29 billion in May 2022 from $6.53 billion in the same month last year due to a sharp jump in the country’s imports, as per data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

The merchandise trade deficit in May 2022 is the highest ever monthly gap. On a year-on-year basis, it has surged by 271.96 per cent. The trade deficit has widened sharply due to a jump in the country’s imports.

India’s merchandise imports in May 2022 surged by 62.83 per cent to $63.22 billion in May 2022 as compared to $38.83 billion recorded in May 2021.

India’s overall exports, merchandise and services combined, rose by 24.03 per cent year-on-year to $62.21 billion in May, the government data showed on Wednesday.

The merchandise exports in May 2022 stood at $38.94 billion as compared to $32.30 billion recorded in the same month last year, registering a year-on-year growth of 20.55 per cent.

According to statistics supplied by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the expected value of services export for May 2022 is $23.28 billion, which is 30.32 percent more than the $17.86 billion recorded in May 2021.

Overall exports increased by 25.90% year on year in the first two months of the current fiscal year, reaching $124.59 billion.

The merchandise exports for the period April-May 2022 increased by 24.86% to $78.72 billion, up from $63.05 billion in the same time last year.

The estimated value of services export for April-May 2022 is $45.87 billion, exhibiting year-on-year growth 27.71 per cent over $35.92 billion recorded in April-May 2021 period.

The overall imports, merchandise and services combined, surged by 59.19 per cent year-on-year to $77.65 billion.

For the first two months of the current financial year, the overall imports are estimated to be $151.89 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 45.44 per cent over the same period last year.

Merchandise imports in May 2022 were $63.22 billion, which is an increase of 62.83 per cent over imports of $38.83 billion in May 2021.

Merchandise imports for the period April-May 2022 stood at $123.41 billion as against $84.87 billion during the period April-May 2021, registering a growth of 45.42 per cent.

The merchandise trade deficit for April-May 2022 widened to $44.69 billion as against $21.82 billion in April-May 2021, which is an increase of 104.80 per cent.

Despite the uncertainty and volatility caused by the war in Europe, the engineering goods exports rose by 12.65 per cent year-on-year to $9.71 billion in May 2022, said EEPC India Chairman Mahesh Desai.

“This instills the confidence that the sector is strong enough to withstand the global headwinds and sail through the challenging times. The measures taken by the government to curb rising fuel and steel prices have started yielding positive impact and would help the sector offset part of external challenges,” Desai said.

“We hope that once the global commodity prices cool down, the engineering goods sector would gain significantly and accelerate the growth engine. It will boost private investment and create more jobs across various levels in the value chain,” he added. 

(This post has been published from a wired agency with some changes to the text and headline.)