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Principale » First four months of FY18: trade deficit widens to $12.1 billion

First four months of FY18: trade deficit widens to $12.1 billion

15 Novembre 2017

The trade deficit widened to $14.02 billion last month from $8.98 billion in September, data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed.

The decline was led by sharp falls in major labour-intensive sectors such as leather & leather products, gems & jewellery, handicrafts, readymade garments, and carpets. Despite total imports growing by the slowest pace this calendar year, the trade deficit increased to a 35-month high of $14 billion. This widened the trade deficit to $14.01 billion, the highest level since $14.08 billion in May 2017.

Imports of coal (66.3%), petroleum, crude and products (27.9%), chemicals (30.5%), machinery (17.4%), and electronics goods (7%) expanded in October.

Exports entered the negative terrain after over an year, contracting 1.12 per cent in October primarily due to liquidity problem being faced by exporters following rollout of the Goods and Services Tax. He added, "that there is immediate need for remedial measures to prevent further decline in exports otherwise the situation may be worse for November 2017". Trade deficit was $9.242 billion in the first four months of last fiscal year and increased to $12.129 billion during the same period of the current fiscal year. "Implementation of the measures approved by the GST Council is not taking place, as a result challenges faced by the exporters remain the same". Merchandise exports for October fell 1.12 percent from a year ago to $23.1 billion.

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Cumulative exports during April-October 2017-18 increased by 9.62 per cent to USD 170.28 billion, while imports grew by 22.21 per cent to USD 256.43 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 86.14 billion.

Oil imports in the month were 27.89% higher at $9.28 billion.

As a result, non-oil/non-gold imports rose only 4.9 per cent, sharply lower than the 19.8 per cent in September and 20 per cent in August, indicating industrial production would suffer again in October. "The global Brent prices ($/bbl) have increased by 15.87% in October 2017 vis-à-vis October 2016 as per World Bank commodity price data (The pink sheet)", the ministry said.

Non-oil imports during October at $27.83 billion grew by 2.19 per cent over non-oil imports of $27.23 billion in October past year.

First four months of FY18: trade deficit widens to $12.1 billion