New Delhi: Covid-19 continued to subdue global trade and consequently plunged India’s merchandise exports in May by over 36 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

India’s exports fell to $19.05 billion during the month under review from $29.99 billion reported for the corresponding period of the previous year.

The country’s merchandise exports in April had plunged by over 60 per cent YoY to $10.36 billion from $26.07 billion reported for April of the previous year.

“Except for iron ore, drugs and pharmaceuticals, spices and rice, which registered a growth of 103.04 per cent, 17.32 per cent, 10.55 per cent and 7.64 per cent, respectively, all other commodity or commodity groups have registered negative growth in May 2020 vis-a-vis May 2019,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

Besides, non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in May 2020 were $ 16.36 billion, as compared to $21.42 billion in May 2019, exhibiting a negative growth of (-) 23.61 per cent.

The country’s imports declined at a far higher rate than exports in May.

India’s May imports declined by 51.05 per cent to $22.20 billion from $45.35 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2019.

Last month, imports had declined by 58.65 per cent to $17.12 billion from $4 1.40 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2019.

“Oil imports in May 2020 were $3.49 billion which was 71.98 per cent lower i n Dollar terms (69.62 per cent lower in Rupee terms), compared to $12.44 billion (Rs 86,822.36 crore) in May 2019,” the statement said.

“‘Non-Oil and Non-Gold’ imports were $18.64 billion in May 2020, recording a negative growth of (-) 33.74 per cent, as compared to ‘Non-Oil and Non-Gold ‘ imports of $28.13 billion in May 2019,” it added.

Furthermore, non-oil and non-gold imports were $18.64 billion in May 2020, recording a negative growth of (-) 33.74 per cent, as compared to non-oil and non-gold imports of $28.13 billion in May 2019.

Consequently, India’s trade deficit narrowed to $3.15 billion on a year-on-y ear basis in May from $15.36 billion reported for the corresponding month of last year.