Hit by GST, exports fall 1.2% to $23 billion in Oct

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Exports during October 2017 were valued at United States $23,098.18 million as compared to $23,360.61 million during October 2016, registering a decline of 1.12%, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. Exporters grouse that the measures aren't being implemented at the ground level.

New Delhi- Reversing a 13-month upward trend, Indian exports in October declined year-on-year by 1.12 per cent to $23 billion due to a drop in shipments of textiles, pharmaceuticals, leather goods and gems and jewellery, according to official data released on Tuesday. Import of gold and transport equipment, however, registered a decline.

After attaining six-month high growth in September, the trade deficit - difference between exports and imports - widened to $14 billion during the month under review as against $11.13 billion in October 2016.

"The decline in exports was expected because exporters were struggling with a liquidity crunch after paying the Goods and Services Tax for four months in a row without getting any refund", Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Ganesh Kumar Gupta told Mint.

While engineering goods, one of the top exports from India, continued to increase, there was a slowdown in pace.

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"There is no other plausible reason for the exports to fall in the midst of recovery in the global markets which was so evident in the previous months", said TS Bhasin, Chairman, Engineering Exports Promotion Council. Trade deficit increased to $3.04 billion in October 2017, higher by 35.88 percent over $2.2 billion for the same a year before.

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.

Overall trade deficit for April-October 2017-18 was $52.55 billion compared to $22.13 billion in April-October 2016-17.

Newsletter has been successfully subscribed. The data shows oil and non-oil imports grew by 27.89 per cent and 2.19 per cent to $9.28 billion and $27.83 billion, respectively in October.