India's Merchandise Exports Fell 12.2%, Imports Declined 3.5% In December 2022

The trade gap widened to $23.76 billion in December 2022, compared to $23.89 billion in November 2022.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Source: Freepik)</p></div>
(Source: Freepik)

India's trade deficit remained flat in December as exports saw a sharper fall than imports.

The trade gap was at $23.76 billion in December 2022, as compared to $23.89 billion in November 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Key Figures

  • Exports contracted 12.2% year-on-year to $34.48 billion.

  • Imports fell 3.5% to $58.24 billion.

  • On a month-on-month basis, exports rose by 7.8% in October, while imports rose by 4.2%.

The sequential improvement in exports benefiting from the pre-holiday shipments was not enough to stave off a contraction on an annual basis in December 2022, in light of the weak global demand, said Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA.

Nevertheless, softness in prices of some commodities aided imports to an extent, stabilising the trade deficit around the previous month's level and well below the average of $26 billion seen in the six months ending October 2022, Nayar said.

"We believe the current account deficit has likely peaked in Q2 FY23 and foresee a moderation to $25-29 billion each in the subsequent two quarters."


  • Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in December 2022 were $27 billion, compared to $29.52 billion in December 2021.

  • Non-petroleum, non-gems, and jewellery—gold, silver, and precious metals—imports in December 2022 were at $36.93 billion, compared to $35.95 billion in December 2021.

Key Exports 

  • Engineering goods exports stood at $9.1 billion, down 11.9% year-on-year.

  • Petroleum product exports were at $4.9 billion, 26.9% lower compared to the previous year.

  • Gems and jewellery exports were at $2.5 billion, 15.2% lower as compared to the previous year.

  • Organic and inorganic chemical exports were at $2.5 billion, 6.6% lower than last year.

  • Drugs and pharmaceutical exports were at $2.3 billion, 1.9% lower than the previous year.

Key Imports

  • Petroleum, crude, and product imports rose 5.9% over the previous year, at $17.5 billion.

  • Imports of coal, coke, and briquettes fell 17.4% compared to the previous year at $3.3 billion.

  • Electronic goods imports were at $6.3 billion, down 2% over the previous year.

  • Machinery, electrical, and non-electrical goods were at $4.1 billion, 9.2% higher than the previous year.

  • Gold imports stood at $1.2 billion, 75% lower than a year ago.