Imports Lower by 5.3%, Exports Reduce by 3.1% in FY24 amid Varied Prospects

Imports Lower by 5.3%, Exports Reduce by 3.1% in FY24 amid Varied Prospects

India’s merchandise imports increased by 5.3% in 2023–24 compared to a 3.1% decrease in exports, despite a rise in two-way shipments in the latter months of the year. The decline in international commerce of products followed two years of positive growth on the low base left by the pandemic-induced downturn in FY20–FY21.
This indicates that India’s international performance in the previous year was consistent with the worldwide trend. The World Trade Organization (WTO) projects a 1.2% decline in the demand for traded goods worldwide in 2023.

The WTO updated its forecast last week, cutting its earlier estimate of 3.3% growth in merchandise trade volume in 2024 to 2.6%. The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), located in Delhi, predicts a 1.2% decline in the value of global merchandise trade in 2024 compared to 2023.

Official figures that were made public on Monday show that $437.06 billion worth of goods were exported in FY24. In contrast, the previous year’s exports were valued at $450.6 billion. The amount of products imported in FY24 was $677.4 billion, compared to $715.3 billion the year before.
Foreign market earnings for the services sector increased by 4.39% year over year to $339.62 billion in FY24. With this included, India’s total exports in FY24 were $776.68 billion, representing a flat annual growth of 0.04%.

“It was an extremely difficult year from the point of view of world trade. The Russia-Ukraine conflict continued. There was a huge issue with respect to the Red Sea. Then there were recessionary trends,” commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal said.

In FY24, the merchandise trade deficit decreased by 9.33% year over year to $240.17 billion. The total trade deficit decreased to $78.12 billion, or 35.77%.
At $41.68 billion, March had the highest monthly exports in FY 24, while being 0.67% less than the previous year. March saw a 5.98% decrease in imports to $57.28 billion. March saw a 6.25% decline in services exports to $28.14 billion and a 6.57% decline in imports to $15.84 billion.
India’s recent performance is encouraging, as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have forecasted a 5% decline in world merchandise exports in 2023 and a growth in exports in 2024.

“In merchandise exports we have moved into a positive cycle of growth from this (calendar) year onwards. Globally things are looking up and we are also looking up,” Barthwal said.

This year’s merchandise exports from January to March increased by 4% to $208.3 billion. “The year’s largest exports occurred in March. The secretary stated that merchandise exports are rising each month in terms of dollars.

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