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Positive Growth in India’s April 2023 Exports: Boost in Electronic Goods, Rice, Drugs

India’s overall exports in April 2023 have reached an estimated value of USD 65.02 billion, marking a significant growth of 2 percent. This positive trend reflects the country’s thriving export industry, particularly in sectors such as electronic goods, rice, drugs and pharmaceuticals, oil meals, ceramic products and glassware, and spices. These key sectors have experienced a notable increase in their export volumes during April 2023, contributing to India’s overall export performance.

Growth in Merchandise and Services Exports

India’s exports encompass both merchandise and services, and in April 2023, the combined value of these exports is estimated to be USD 65.02 billion. This figure demonstrates a positive growth rate of 2.00 percent compared to April 2022. On the other hand, imports for April 2023 are estimated to be USD 66.40 billion, reflecting a negative growth rate of -7.92 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Merchandise Trade: Export and Import Figures

In April 2023, the value of merchandise exports stood at USD 34.66 billion, slightly lower than the figure recorded in April 2022, which was USD 39.70 billion. Similarly, merchandise imports for April 2023 were USD 49.90 billion, down from USD 58.06 billion in April 2022.

Trade Excluding Petroleum and Gems & Jewellery

A closer look at the trade excluding petroleum and gems & jewellery reveals that the non-petroleum exports in April 2023 amounted to USD 28.19 billion, a decrease from the previous year’s USD 31.84 billion. The non-petroleum imports during the same period were valued at USD 34.72 billion, compared to USD 40.42 billion in April 2022. Additionally, the exports of non-petroleum and non-gems & jewellery products reached USD 25.76 billion in April 2023, a decline from the previous year’s USD 28.37 billion. The corresponding figure for non-petroleum and non-gems & jewellery imports was USD 31.49 billion, down from USD 36.00 billion in April 2022.

Table 1: Trade during April 2023

April 2023 (USD Billion)April 2022 (USD Billion)
Overall Trade
(Merchandise + Services)*
Trade Balance-1.38-8.37
Table 1: Trade during April 2023

Note: The latest data for the services sector released by RBI is for March 2023. The data for April 2023 is an estimation, which will be revised based on RBI’s subsequent release.

Services Trade: Export and Import Figures

Services play a crucial role in India’s export landscape, and in April 2023, the estimated value of services exports reached USD 30.36 billion, a considerable increase from the USD 24.05 billion recorded in April 2022. Likewise, the value of services imports during the same period was estimated at USD 16.50 billion, compared to USD 14.06 billion in April 2022.

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Fig 1: Overall Trade during April 2023*
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Fig 2: Merchandise Trade during April 2023

Positive Growth Across Key Sectors

India’s overall export growth for April 2023 is driven by the performance of several key sectors. In the merchandise export category, 11 out of 30 sectors experienced positive growth when compared to April 2022. Notable sectors with significant growth include oil meals (95.14%), electronic goods (26.49%), rice (24.01%), oil seeds (18.01%), ceramic products & glassware (17.21%), spices (14.44%), drugs & pharmaceuticals (10.45%), fruits & vegetables (9.96%), tobacco (6.28%), coffee (4.17%), and cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items (2.03%). Particularly, exports of electronic goods witnessed a substantial increase of 26.49 percent in April 2023, reaching USD 2.11 billion compared to USD 1.67 billion in April 2022

April 2023 (USD Billion)April 2022 (USD Billion)
Non-petroleum exports28.1931.84
Non-petroleum imports34.7240.42
Non-petroleum & Non Gems & Jewellery exports25.7628.37
Non-petroleum & Non Gems & Jewellery imports31.4936.00
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Decline in Textiles and Plastic & Linoleum Exports

However, it’s important to note that not all sectors experienced growth during April 2023. Textiles and plastic & linoleum exports continued to decline due to subdued demand resulting from the recessionary effects in major economies. Despite the challenges faced by these sectors, the overall export performance remained positive.

Negative Growth in Merchandise Imports

Turning our attention to merchandise imports, it is evident that the majority of sectors faced negative growth in April 2023. Out of the 30 key sectors, 23 reported a decline in imports compared to the same period last year. These sectors include project goods (-73.05%), sulphur & unroasted iron pyrites (-62.03%), fertilizers, crude & manufactured (-45.86%), gold (-41.48%), vegetable oil (-37.74%), organic & inorganic chemicals (-31.36%), metaliferrous ores & other minerals (-28.93%), coal, coke & briquettes, etc. (-28.51%), leather & leather products (-26.32%), pearls, precious & semi-precious stones (-18.73%), medicinal & pharmaceutical products (-18.33%), textile yarn fabric, made-up articles (-17.06%), fruits & vegetables (-16.87%), transport equipment (-14.89%), petroleum, crude & products (-13.95%), cotton raw & waste (-13.81%), dyeing/tanning/colouring materials (-8.17%), artificial resins, plastic materials, etc. (-6.12%), wood & wood products (-5.92%), electronic goods (-5.67%), non-ferrous metals (-5.24%), chemical material & products (-4.59%), and newsprint (-2.9%).

Robust Growth in Services Exports

While merchandise imports faced a decline, services exports remained robust during April 2023. It is projected that services exports will witness a growth rate of 26.24 percent compared to April 2022. This highlights the resilience and strength of India’s services sector in contributing to the overall export performance.

In conclusion, India’s exports in April 2023 have shown a positive growth of 2 percent, reaching USD 65.02 billion. The country’s export industry continues to thrive, with notable growth observed in sectors such as electronic goods, rice, drugs and pharmaceuticals, oil meals, ceramic products and glassware, and spices. Despite challenges faced by certain sectors and a decline in merchandise imports, the overall export performance remains optimistic. With a strong services sector and efforts to enhance competitiveness across industries, India is poised to maintain its position as a prominent player in the global market.

Note: The data for April 2023 is based on estimations and will be revised upon the subsequent release of RBI’s official data. The figures for April 2022 have been revised using quarterly balance of payments data.

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