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India Logs Trade Surplus For First Time In A Decade As Imports Slump Amid Covid-19

India's merchandise trade balance swung to a surplus in June, the first in the last decade, as imports plummeted amid weak demand and supply disruptions due to the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic, data from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry showed on Wednesday.

The trade balance showed a surplus of $0.79 billion for June versus a deficit of $15.28 billion in the same month last year. Economists had forecast a shortfall of $4.50 billion.

This is the first time in the last decade that India is a net exporter, the ministry said.

Imports slumped 47.59 percent year-on-year and exports dropped 12.41 percent.

Gold imports plunged 77.42 percent and imports of coal and crude oil & petroleum decreased over 55 percent each. Imports of machinery, electrical and non-electrical goods and those of electronic goods fell by 42.02 percent and 34.05 percent, respectively.

In the April to June quarter, the visible trade deficit narrowed to $9.12 billion from $45.96 billion in the same period last year. Imports shrunk 52.43 percent and exports dropped 36.71 percent.

The services trade logged a surplus of $6.83 billion in May, data from the central bank showed Wednesday. Export receipts decreased 10.24 percent year-on-year and import payments fell 20.45 percent.

The overall trade surplus for April-June 2020-21 is estimated at $11.70 billion as compared to the deficit of $26.32 billion in in the same period of the previous financial year.

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