New Delhi, Sep 13: The country’s exports grew 19.2 per cent in August as a rise in global crude prices helped increase the value of shipments of petroleum products. “Export trade during August 2018 was recorded at $27.8 billion, a positive growth of 19.2 per cent. Exports excluding petroleum also reported a positive growth of 17.4 per cent,” commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted.
Merchandise imports, too, rose 25.4 per cent to $45.2 billion during last month, again due to rising crude oil prices, leaving a trade deficit of $17.4 billion. In July, trade deficit had soared to a near five-year high of $18 billion.
Trade numbers are crucial for policymakers in the wake of a weakening rupee, which is the worst performer among Asian currencies, as well as higher global crude prices, which may upset the current account deficit calculations. While export performance has improved in recent months, experts said it is largely on account of higher crude and commodity prices. The impact of higher global crude prices is seen to be more adverse on imports as it will result in a higher trade deficit.
Additionally, the rupee depreciation has made imports more expensive, which has put further pressure on the Indian currency as well as inflation. During April-August of the current financial year, exports recorded a growth of 16 per cent, while imports grew 17.3 per cent.