India’s import basket saw a dip of 16 per cent during March 1-19 period mainly driven by decreased imports of precious & semi precious stones, gold and sharp drop in crude oil prices.

The exports for the same period came down by 8.2 per cent to $16.3 billion, a report in Times of India said.

As India enters into a lockdown for the next 21 days, muted demand for fuel could further bring down India’s import bill.

At the same time, muted exports could shave off India’s economic growth that already faces a challenges on the domestic front due to an ongoing slowdown and coronavirus pandemic.

India’s exports rose for the first time in seven months in February, up by 2.9 per cent and driven by growth in shipments of sectors such as petroleum, engineering and chemicals.

For the April-February period of the current fiscal, exports dropped by 1.5 per cent to $292.91 billion.

India has also banned exports of sanitisers and ventilators includinga all artificial respiratory devices anticipating spike in local demand as India fights the coronavirus pandemic.

The data accessed by Times of India, however, showed that iron ore exports saw a spike of nearly 80 per cent probably on the back of increased demand of raw material as China returns to work.

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