Exports fall 33%, trade deficit narrows

Merchandise exports fell sharply by 33.3% yoy in March from a 21.7% yoy fall in February, marking a sixth consecutive month of fall in exports. In INR terms, exports contracted by 15% yoy, reflecting the large yoy INR depreciation. On a sequential basis, exports fell 18% mom; seasonally adjusted.

Imports slid sharply by 34.0% yoy in March, compared to the 23.3% yoy fall in February. Non-oil imports fell rapidly by 19% yoy in March, from 10% yoy in February. Oil imports continued to contract by 58% yoy versus a 48% yoy fall in February.

The trade deficit narrowed substantially to US$4 billion versus US$5 billion in February and a peak of US$13 billion in August as the contraction in imports was a tad more rapid than the fall in exports.