India’s Trade Gap Widens to Record On Costly Imports

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India’s trade deficit ballooned to a record high in July, as elevated commodity prices and a weak rupee inflated the country’s import bill, Bloomberg News reported. The gap between exports and imports widened to $31.02 billion in July, from $26.18 billion in June, B.V.R Subrahmanyam, India’s trade secretary, told reporters at a briefing in New Delhi Tuesday, citing preliminary data. The trade deficit in June was a record before the latest numbers were released. Imports jumped 43.59% in July from a year ago, while exports dropped 0.76%. Inbound shipments of petroleum products during the month stood at $21.13 billion, and gold imports came in at $2.37 billion. Coal imports stood at $5.17 billion. July’s data comes after the federal government raised import duty on gold last month to discourage buyers in the world’s second-largest consumer and rein in the yawning trade deficit. Growing concerns about the gap and an exodus of foreign capital from Indian markets had pushed the rupee to a record low of 80.06 per dollar last month. The local unit has since rebounded amid a broad pick up in appetite for riskier assets and currencies. Read more.