The country's exports rose by 47.34 per cent to $32.46 billion in June on account of healthy growth in sectors such as engineering, gems and jewellery and petroleum products, even as trade deficit aggregated at $9.4 billion during the month, according to the data released by the commerce ministry on Friday.
Exports in June last year stood at $22 billion and $25 billion in June 2019.
In May 2021, the outward shipment was worth $32.27 billion, while in April this year, it was $31 billion.
Imports in June 2021 grew by 96.33 per cent to $41.86 billion, from $21.32 billion in June last year. In June 2019, imports stood at $41 billion.
"India is thus a net importer in June 2021 with a trade deficit of $9.4 billion, widened by 1,426.6 per cent over trade surplus of $0.71 billion in June 2020 (India was net exporter in June 2020) and narrowed down by 41.26 per cent over trade deficit of $16 billion in June 2019," the ministry said in a statement.
Exports during the April-June quarter this year jumped to $95.36 billion as against $51.44 billion in the same period last year.
"Exports during the April-June period are the highest ever merchandise exports in a quarter in history of India," Commerce and Industry Minister Piysuh Goyal said briefing the media in New Delhi.
The merchandise exports were recorded at $82 billion during April-June 2018-19 and $90 billion during the last quarter of 2020-21, he said.
He also said the ministry will work with all the stakeholders concerned to achieve the target of $400 billion exports in this fiscal year.
Imports during April-June 2021 were at $126.14 billion, an increase from $60.65 billion in the corresponding three months last year.
Oil imports in June this year rose to $10.68 billion, as compared to $4.97 billion in June 2020.
"Oil imports during April-June 2021 were $31 billion, a positive growth of 136.36 per cent compared to $13.12 billion in April-June 2020 and a negative growth of 12.33 per cent compared to $35.36 billion in April-June 2019," it said.
Exports of engineering, petroleum products and pharma during the first three months of this fiscal stood at $25.9 billion, $12.9 billion and $5.8 billion, respectively.
Goyal also said that simplification of procedures, extension of timelines and licences resulted in the record performance of exports.
On services exports, he expressed confidence that the exports would touch $350 billion by 2025, and may even go up to $500 billion very soon.
About the remission of duties and taxes on export products (RoDTEP), the minister said it is at a very advanced stage of inter-ministerial discussion.
"It was a colossal task, there are about 11,000 items which need to be studied... We will shortly notify the rates. We will be very very soon coming out with more details of rates for different sectors.
"This is not a subsidy to any exporter, this is only a refund of taxes," he added.
On foeign trade policy, he said the ministry is working on that and it is trying to see what new elements can be added in that to further promote foreign trade.
"Hopefully, we will come out by October," he added.
Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters