The country’s exports of goods and services rose marginally by 0.4 per cent to USD 765.6 billion in 2023 despite global economic uncertainties, according to the commerce ministry data.
Sectors which helped keep India’s exports afloat include electronics, pharmaceuticals, cotton yarn, fabrics and made-ups; ceramic products, meat, dairy and poultry products, fruits and vegetables and information technology.
Goods exports in the last calendar year, however, contracted by 4.71 per cent to USD 431.9 billion while services exports are estimated to have risen by 7.88 per cent to USD 333.8 billion, the data showed.
The merchandise imports also dipped by 7 per cent to USD 667.73 billion last year as against USD 720.2 billion in 2022.
The latest data for the services sector released by the RBI is for November 2023. The data for December 2023 is an estimation by the ministry.
The main export destinations for India are the US, the UAE, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, the UK and Germany.
Goods shipments are impacted due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Hamas conflict and the Red Sea trade route crisis due to attacks by Yemen-based Houthis on cargo ships.
According to international trade experts, if these challenges are prolonged, it will have major implications on global trade.
Economic think-tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said that India’s exports and imports have dipped by 2.6 per cent to USD 1609 billion in 2023 compared to USD 1651.9 billion in 2022.
The negative trade balance – the difference between exports and imports – decreased from USD 141.3 billion in 2022 to USD 75.2 billion in 2023.
The data for the current fiscal shows that the goods exports during April-December 2023 dipped by 5.7 per cent to USD 317.12 billion. Imports contracted by 7.93 per cent to USD 505.15 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 188.02 billion in the first three quarters as against USD 212.34 billion in April-December 2022.