The Fall In Imports, Exports And Trade Deficit
Imports also fell by 58.65 per cent to USD 17.12 billion in April; leaving a trade deficit of USD 6.76 billion. This is the lowest trade deficit since May 2016, when it had stood at USD 6.27 billion. The country’s exports had declined by 34.57 per cent in March 2020. Federation of Indian Exports Organisation President, Sharad Kumar Saraf said that lockdown measures due to Covid-19 across the globe not only pushed the global business sentiments to its lowest; but also impacted the supply chain and brought a slump in the economies across the world.
Saraf added that the exports during the month, for emergency and essential items like drugs and pharmaceutical products, only were slightly positive. Due to the lockdown measures followed across the world; there remains a disruption of supply chains and major cancellations in orders except for drugs and pharma. He expressed his serious concerns over the sharp decline in employment-intensive sectors of exports; which has serious ramifications for the jobs in the country particularly as domestic demand will also not be robust.
Package From The Government
Saraf expects a revival in exports from the third quarter of the fiscal; with the mega economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores announced by the Prime Minister. However, depending on the condition evolving in the international market. But, with major global players including US, UK, Canada, etc. having provided the bailout or financial packages to their industry to sail through these difficult times; it is also expected that the same would help in bringing good news for the overall international trade.
He said that 28 out of the 30 major product groups saw highest-ever double-digit negative growth of almost up to 99 per cent during April 2020. Even large quantities of petroleum exports could not push value wise exports as the international prices were at rock bottom.
He stated that with the cancellation of about 70-80% of orders, casting a gloomy picture besides major job losses and rising Non Performing Assets (NPA) amongst exporting units; they urge the Government to immediately implement the economic measures announced at the ground level for quick and early starting of trade and businesses across the country during such difficult and testing times.