India’s merchandise trade deficit in December widened to $23.89 billion as against $21.10 billion year-on-year (YoY). However, the number was largely flat as compared to $23.89 billion in the previous month, according to the data released by the commerce ministry on Monday.
A trade deficit occurs when a country imports more than it exports. In other words, when a country buys more than it sells, it has a trade deficit.
The country’s merchandise exports in December last year dipped by 12.2% to $34.48 billion as compared to $39.27 billion in the same month last year.
Imports in December 2022 also declined to $58.24 billion as against $60.33 billion in the same month last year.
However, the exports and imports rose as compared to last month.
During April-December this fiscal, India’s overall exports surged by 9% to $332.76 billion. Imports during the period increased by 24.96% to $551.7 billion.
Despite global headwinds, India’s exports have held its head high, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal has said.
India sees new export markets growing for petroleum products from India in the Netherlands and Brazil, Barthwal added.
“Because of Russia-Ukraine war we were able to get crude oil at a much cheaper rate and we used our refining capacity to the hilt by refining it and then exporting,” Barthwal further said.
Russia has emerged as one of the top oil exporters to India since the war started as the Asian country lapped up discounts offered by Moscow, which has been under western sanctions.
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