India’s Exports Shrink 15% In Dec, Trade Deficit Widens On Gold Imports


NEW DELHI – In line with dismal global demand scenario, exports contracted in December for the 13th month in a row and the trade deficit has worsened as gold imports more than doubled.

Exports shrunk by 14.75% to $22.2 billion with analysts and industry calling it a cause for concern as there seems to be no relief from the weak demand overseas.

Imports shrank 3.88% to $33.96 billion in December on yearly basis. Gold imports jumped almost three-fold thereby pushing up the trade deficit to a 4-month high of $11.66 billion, as against $9.17 billion recorded in December 2014. Gold imports rose to $3.80 billion last month, as against $1.36 billion in December 2014.

Aditi Nayar, senior economist, ICRA, said the higher-than-anticipated volume of gold shipments may have followed from the dip in prices.

Nayar added that the easing contraction of non-oil merchandise exports in December 2015 compared to the sharp 20% year- on-year decline in November was an aberration on account of fewer working days. There was also a decline in exports of engineering products by 15.68% at $5.82 billion.

SC Ralhan, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said prices of global commodities and crude oil are expected to go down because of less demand in the global market and expectation of more supply of crude with lifting of sanctions from Iran.

He said as the commodities and crude oil prices have more than 40% bearing on India’s exports, it has further led to the continuous decline in exports. “Global demand also does not seem to be picking up. With only countries like the US showing little signs of improvement, this does not augur well for the country’s export sector in the long-run”, he said.

EEPC India chairman TS Bhasin said, “It is no consolation for us if exports from the rest of the world, the US, the EU and China are also falling. If we find ourselves in the same trough then how does India become a bright spot in the world economy.”

3 billion in its third quarter. Goldman is scheduled to report its results on Jan. 20.

A spokesman from the Department of Justice declined to comment on Goldman’s announcement.

Goldman has been one of the last banks to settle with regulators for its role in the financial crisis. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and others all reached larger, more substantial settlements in 2014 and 2015.

Bank of America individually has paid out tens of billions of dollars in fines as a result of its role in the housing crisis. When JPMorgan reached a similar settlement with the same task force, it paid out $13 billion.

Goldman shares fell 9 cents to $161.30 in aftermarket trading.