The Commerce Ministry’s initial estimate of trade data for the disappointing year of 2015-16 shows that exports have dipped by 15.8% to $261 billion. Imports also declined for the year, registering a fall of 15.2%. imports for the year was $ 379 bn as against $ 448 billion during the previous year.
This is the lowest export figure in five years. The previous low was 2010-11, where export figure was $ 242bn. Over the last one and a half year, India was registering monthly decline in exports. Exports figures have declined during the last fifteen months continuously.
The major downward pulling factor for exports was the global slow down. According to the Ministry’s press release, trade for major countries have fallen.
“The trend of falling exports is in tandem with other major world economies. The growth in exports have fallen for USA (10.81 per cent), European Union (7.40 per cent), China (11.37 per cent) and Japan (12.85 per cent) for January 2016 over the corresponding period previous year as per WTO statistics.”
Though exports have declined, there is a consolation that trade deficit also fallen. Trade deficit for 2015-16 was estimated at $ 118 billion which is lower than the deficit of $ 137 billion for 2014-15.
Fall in global crude prices produced a pleasant impact on the import front. Oi import bill has fallen by 40% to $ 82 bn compared to the usual $120 bn to $160 bn range.