Of the 30 major sectors tracked by the government, three sectors – petroleum (down 13.5%), where prices have crashed, precious & semi-precious stones (46% lower) and gold (45.5% fall) – accounted for two-thirds of the decrease. While the import bill fell $4.3 billion during the first 19 days of the fiscal, these three sectors saw a decline of $2.9 billion in the value of their shipments, according to preliminary estimates available with the commerce department.
During a crisis like the current one, the demand for gems & jewellery and luxury goods typically comes down as incomes are affected and there is uncertainty about the coming quarters, trade experts said.
On the export front too, five sectors – oil products, engineering goods, gems and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals and rice – drove down the overall shipments out of the country. While exports declined by a little under $1.5 billion, the five sectors saw the value of goods shipped out of the country drop by close to $1 billion.