India's trade deficit widened to its
highest in nearly three years in October, government data showed on Tuesday, as
export growth contracted for the first time after more than a year.
The trade deficit widened
to $14.02 billion last month from $8.98 billion in September, data from the
Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed.
The trade deficit has
widened by more $31 billion in the first seven months of the current financial
year to $86.15 billion, which could put pressure on the current account deficit
of Asia's third largest economy.
Merchandise exports for
October fell 1.12 percent from a year earlier to $23.1 billion, dropping for
the first time since August 2016, dragged down by fall in gems, jewellery and
A large number of
exporters have been unable to meet their export orders despite a revival in
global demand as billions of dollars were stuck under the new nationwide tax
launched in July, exporters said.
"The refund of
inputs tax credit under the new Goods and Service Tax system has been stuck
since July, hitting exports," Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president of Federation
of Indian Export Organisations, said.
Goods imports were up 7.6
percent from a year earlier to $37.12 billion.
Higher crude oil prices and a more
than a quarter jump in volume from a year ago pushed India's petroleum imports
to $9.29 billion, also helping to widen the trade gap.
Crude prices have
rallied, sending Brent crude to its highest since June 2015, a worry given that
India imports most of its energy needs.