After contracting for six straight months, India's exports rose 5.99 per cent to $27.58 billion in September on account of growth in shipments of drugs and pharmaceuticals and readymade garments, as per the government data released on Thursday.
Exports stood at $26.02 billion in September 2019.
The country's imports contracted 19.6 per cent to $30.31 billion in September. It was $37.69 billion in the same month last year.
The trade deficit narrowed to $2.72 billion, compared to a shortfall of $11.67 billion in the year ago-month.
Gold imports declined by nearly 53 per cent to $601.43 million in September.
"Exports in September 2020 were $27.58 billion, as compared to $26.02 billion in September 2019, exhibiting a positive growth of 5.99 per cent," the government said in a statement.
During the April-September 2020 period, exports declined by 16.66 per cent to $221.86 billion, while imports fell 35.43 per cent to $204.12 billion over the same period last year.
Major export commodities that have recorded positive growth during September include iron ore (109.65 per cent at $303.42 million), readymade garments (10.22 per cent at $1.19 billion), rice (93.86 per cent at $725.14 million), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (24.38 per cent at $2.24 billion).
However, outbound shipments of gems and jewellery declined 24.67 per cent and Mica, Coal and other ores, minerals including processed minerals slipped 6.71 per cent.
The data further revealed that non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in September stood at $21.27 billion, as compared to $19 billion in the same period previous fiscal, registering a growth of 11.94 per cent.
Oil imports dipped 35.88 per cent to $5.83 billion in September. During April-September, it declined 51.14 per cent to $31.86 billion.
"In this connection, it is mentioned that the global Brent price ($/bbl) has decreased by 34.08 per cent in September 2020 vis-a-vis September 2019 as per data available from World Bank," the statement said.
Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade surplus for April-September is estimated at $17.74 billion as compared to the deficit of $49.91 billion in the year-ago period.
The estimated value of services exports for September is $16.34 billion and that of imports is 9.49 billion.
Since March, the country's outbound shipments were recording negative growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant fall in global demand.