India’s exports rose by 22.36 per cent to USD 33.81 billion in February on account of healthy growth in sectors like engineering, petroleum and chemicals . 

However due to rise in Imports India’s trade deficit widened to USD 21.19 billion, according to preliminary data released by the commerce ministry on Wednesday.

Imports during the month  jumped by about 35 per cent to USD 55 billion.

As a result India;s trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, stood at USD 13.12 billion in February 2022.

“India’s merchandise export in April 2021-February 2022 was USD 374.05 billion, an increase of 45.80 per cent over USD 256.55 billion in April 2020-February 2021,” it said.

With western nations deciding to block many Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT international payment banking system, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Indian exporters fear roughly $400 million may get stuck.

While exporters will get more clarity on the impact when the finer details of the SWIFT ban are spelt out, they have had discussions with the government to deal with payment related challenges. 

One of the options could be to restore the rupee-rouble payment mechanism with Russia, an industry official said.