January’s trade deficit drops to a nine-month low

NEW DELHI: According to figures issued by the commerce department, India’s trade deficit shrank to a nine-month low of $17.5 billion in January as exports increased 3% to $36.9 billion and imports increased correspondingly to $54.4 billion.

“Despite the Red Sea crisis, recession in developed countries and a fall in commodity prices, we have been able to achieve a growth…the objective is to see how we can navigate the difficult situation in Red Sea,” Sunil Barthwal, the commerce secretary, said.

The government has been working hard in recent weeks to make sure that exporters have access to sufficient finance and that, in spite of the strain, insurance premiums via the Export finance Guarantee Corporation do not increase.

The Red Sea situation must be addressed immediately, according to Fieo Chief Israr Ahmed, by making sure that maritime insurance is available, that containers are regularly supplied, and that freight costs be increased proportionately. The administration is optimistic about matching the total numbers from the previous year since services are making a significant recovery.

According to Barthwal, the government is concentrating on new goods and markets to increase the reach of Indian exports. It is also collaborating with companies to make sure that non-tariff barriers don’t create obstacles in other markets.