Context: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry released data pertaining Indian exports,imports and overall trade.
Findings of Data:
*Note: The latest data for the services sector released by RBI is for February2020. The data for March2020 is an estimation, which will be revised based on RBI’s subsequent release.
- Merchandise Trade
- Exports: The ongoing pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak across the world has dealt a blow to Indian merchandise exports, with overall shipments dropping 34.57 per cent in March.
- Experts have termed this the highest drop in exports in recent times.
- The decline in exports has been mainly due to the ongoing global slowdown, which got aggravated due to the current Covid-19 crisis.
- The latter resulted in large scale disruptions in supply chain and demand resulting in cancellation of orders.
- Major commodity groups which have recorded negative growth during March 2020 vis-à-vis March 2019 are Oil meals (-69.85%), Meat, dairy & poultry products (-45.48%), Engineering goods (-42.32%) etc.
- Cumulative value of exports for the period April-March 2019-20 was USD314.31billion, registering a negative growth of (-)4.78per cent in Dollar terms.
- Imports: Imports in March2020 were USD31.16billion which was 28.72per cent lower in Dollar terms.
- Major commodity groups of import showing negative growth in March2020 were Pearl,Precious and Semi Precious Stone (53.46%), Machinery,electrical and non electrical etc..
- Cumulative value of imports for the period April-March 2019-20 was USD467.19billion, registering a negative growth of (-)9.12per cent in Dollar terms
- Both Oil and Non Oil imports fell more in March 2020 as compared to annual fall.
- In this connection it is mentioned that the global Brent price ($/bbl) has decreased by 50.34% in March2020 vis-à-vis March2019 as per data available from the World Bank.
- Trade in Services
- Exports and Imports both are expected to rise by 4.13% and 5.16% in April-March 2019-20 over the previous year.
- Trade Balance:
- Merchandise goods will have a Negative overall balance for the year 2019-20 and Services will have a positive trade balance.
- However the volume and magnitude of merchandise goods will tilt the overall balance to negative for the year 2019-20.
- Thus an overall trade deficit of 70.16 billion dollar is expected for the year 2019-20.
- It is a major trading classification of sweet light crude oil that serves as one of the two main benchmark prices for purchases of oil worldwide, the other being West Texas Intermediate.
- This grade is described as light because of its relatively low density, and sweet because of its low sulphur content.
- Brent Crude is extracted from the North Sea and comprises Brent Blend, Forties Blend, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes (also known as the BFOE Quotation).
- The Brent Crude oil marker is also known as Brent Blend, London Brent and Brent petroleum.
- It is the leading global price benchmark for Atlantic basin crude oils.
- It is used to price two thirds of the world's internationally traded crude oil supplies.
Image Source: Indian Express