India's merchandise exports stood at $38.19 billion in April, down from $42.22 billion a month back, according to preliminary data released by the commerce ministry on May 3.
Imports, however, did not fall by the same magnitude, coming in at $58.26 billion as against $60.74 billion in March. As such, the merchandise trade deficit widened to $20.07 billion from $18.51 billion during the period.
On a year-on-year basis, the growth in exports and imports remained robust. While exports were up 24.2 percent in April compared to last year, imports were 26.6 percent higher.
The trade deficit was 31.2 percent greater compared to April 2021.
Petroleum imports continued to drive imports higher. Import of petroleum and crude products accounted for 33.5 percent of imports in April. In value terms, $19.51 billion of these products were imported last month, registering a growth of 81.2 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Higher global energy prices were also reflected in the value of coal imported. Coal, coke, and briquettes worth $4.74 billion were imported in April, up 136.4 percent from the same month last year.
Gold imports, however, declined 73 percent to $1.69 billion.
On the export front, engineering goods worth $9.20 billion were sent overseas, 15.4 percent higher from April 2021. The higher energy prices also helped India's petroleum products exports, which were 113.2 percent higher at $7.73 billion.