India exported merchandise worth $38.19 billion in April 2022, 24.2% higher than a year ago, but 9.5% lower than the record $42.2 billion exports in the previous month, as per official estimates released on Tuesday.
The trade deficit expanded from $18.5 billion in March to $20.07 billion, as imports grew at a faster pace to $58.26 billion, 26.6% higher than April 2021. Gold imports fell by a sharp 73% year-on-year to just $1.7 billion this April, but coal imports more than doubled from $2 billion a year ago to over $4.7 billion, while petroleum products’ imports were up 81.2% to exceed $19.5 billion.
Among the top 10 export commodities, gems and jewellery exports dipped by a marginal 2.1% in April, while rice exports fell 14.24%. Engineering goods continued to see an healthy uptick in exports, with outbound shipments up 15.4% in April to touch $9.2 billion.
Readymade garments exports jumped 16.4% from April 2021 to hit $1.5 billion, but were 13.2% lower than March 2022. Similarly, organic chemicals exports were up 26.7% from a year ago, but fell 8.1% month-on-month to a little over $2.5 billion.
India’s exports had hit a record $420 billion in 2021-22 and the government is in the process of setting a higher target for this year. Imports had also touched a fresh high last year, rising 55% from 2020-21 levels to about $612 billion.