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Exports, Trade Gap Hit Record High in FY23

India’s merchandise exports rose 6% to $447 billion during 2022-23, buoyed by outbound shipments of petroleum, pharma, chemicals and marine goods, official data released Thursday showed. Imports grew 16.5% to $714 billion in 2022-23 against $613 billion in 2021-22, leaving a record trade deficit in goods of $266.78 billion in the year.

The trade deficit widened to a three-month high of $19.7 billion in March as exports contracted 14%.

“Outstanding exports performance! At $770 Billion for 2022-23, India's

#NewExportRecord shows why it is being called the global bright spot,” commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

Overall trade deficit, however, was $122 billion in 2022-23 against $83.53 billion in the previous year, buoyed by a trade surplus in services.

“Based on services exports estimates and actual numbers of goods exports, we have surpassed our target of $750 billion by almost $20 billion,” said commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal.

He said the growth was significant as there were recessionary conditions elsewhere. “Despite global headwinds, we have not only achieved the target, but surpassed it,” he said.

The estimated growth of services exports, at around 27%, outpaced that of goods at 6.03%.

“While there is a large trade deficit, we feel the production-linked incentive schemes for machinery, automobiles, white goods and electronics will help to reduce it. Also, the growth in electronics exports is a good sign," said Ajay Sahai, director general, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Overall exports, including both goods and services, increased 13.84% to $770 billion in FY23 against $676 billion in FY22.

Overall imports (goods and services) jumped to a new high of $892 billion in the fiscal, up 17.38% on-year.

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