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    India’s Exports and Imports Decline in January, Trade Deficit Lowest in a Year


    India’s exports and imports both declined in January, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.[0] Merchandise exports dropped by 6.58 per cent to $32.91 billion, and imports contracted by 3.63 per cent to $50.66 billion.[1] This resulted in a trade deficit of $17.75 billion, which is the lowest in a year.[2]

    Total exports (merchandise and services combined) in January 2023 are estimated to be $65.15 billion, up 14.58% on year.[3] Meanwhile, overall imports are estimated to be $66.42 billion, up 0.94% on year.[3] April-January 2022-23 has seen an overall exports growth of 17.33 per cent and imports growth of 22.92 per cent.[3]

    Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) for January fell by a sharper 25 per cent from a high base a year ago. In January, exports not held by oil went down by 10.4%, following the 7.2% decrease that occurred in December.[4]

    Engineering goods, iron ore, plastic and linoleum, and gems and jewellery export sectors all experienced a decline in growth during the 10 months of this fiscal year. Key sectors that showed negative growth in exports in January are cotton yarn, fabrics, made-ups, handloom products, etc (-37.42%), man-made yarn/fabrics/made-ups (-21.12%), gems and jewellery ((-19.28%), drugs and pharmaceuticals (-2.62%), organic and inorganic chemicals (-4.57%), engineering goods (-9.8%) and meat dairy and poultry products (-13.27%).

    Between April and January this fiscal year, gold imports dropped by 11.26 percent to $29 billion, compared to $40.35 billion during the same period in the previous year.[5] Crude oil imports for the 10-month period of the current fiscal grew by 53.54%, reaching a total of $178.45 billion.[5] Similarly, imports of coal, coke and briquettes rose by 18.91 per cent to $43.17 billion.[6]

    Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal is optimistic about the country's export growth momentum continuing despite strong global headwinds.[7] Oxford Economics senior economist Alex Holmes commented that the “worst is likely not over for Singapore's export sector.[4] We continue to expect further falls in global demand.

    0. “India’s overall exports log 14.57% growth in January 2023, climb to $65.15 billion” Firstpost, 15 Feb. 2023,

    1. “India's Exports Dipped By 6.58 Per Cent To $32.91 Billion In January” Swarajya, 15 Feb. 2023,

    2. “India's Trade Deficit Widened Slightly on Year as Trade Flows Declined” MarketWatch, 15 Feb. 2023,

    3. “Exports in slow lane, down 6.6%” msnNOW, 16 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Singapore Posts Worst Non-Oil Domestic Exports in a Decade” NBC Chicago, 17 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Exports dip by 6.58% in Jan; trade deficit lowest in 12 months”, 15 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Exports dip by 6.58 per cent in January; trade deficit lowest in 12 months at USD 17.75 billion” The Tribune India, 15 Feb. 2023,

    7. “Moneycontrol Pro Panorama | Import slump, a double-edged sword” Moneycontrol, 16 Feb. 2023,

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