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August merchandise exports down 6.05%, imports fall over 13%

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New Delhi, Sep 13 : Sluggish global demand pulled India’s merchandise exports lower by 6.05 per cent in August on a year-on-year basis.

As per the data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, August exports went down to $26.13 billion from $27.81 billion reported for the corresponding period of the previous year.

However, on a sequential basis, exports during the month under review was marginally lower from $26.33 billion worth of merchandises that were shipped out in July 2019.

“Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in August 2019 were $19.60 billion, as compared to $20.76 billion in August 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of 5.61 per cent,” the ministry said in a statement.

On the other hand, imports declined by 13.45 per cent to $39.58 billion in August from $45.73 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2018.

“Oil imports in August 2019 were $10.88 billion, which was 8.90 per cent lower in dollar terms, compared to $11.94 billion in August 2018,” the ministry said.

“Non-oil imports in August 2019 were estimated at $28.71 billion, which was 15.05 per cent lower in dollar terms, compared to $33.79 billion in August 2018,” it added.

According to the ministry data, non-oil and non-gold imports declined by 9.33 per cent to $27.34 billion in August 2019 from $30.15 billion in August 2018.

Consequently, the trade deficit in August narrowed to $13.45 billion as against the deficit of $17.92 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

“A sharp contraction in gold as well as non-oil, non-gold merchandise imports led to considerable shrinking of merchandise trade deficit in August 2019. The de-growth in gold imports is unsurprising in the light of the recent spike in prices of the precious metal, which has contributed to the contraction in imports of stones and precious metals as well. Such imports may revive to some extent in the festive season,” said Aditi Nayar, Principal economist, ICRA.

“The decline in non-oil, non gold imports in August, led by sectors such as transport equipment, machinery, coal and chemicals, provides a cautionary signal regarding the strength of underlying economic activity,” Nayar added.

According to Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, FIEO, contraction in exports is a reflection of uncertainties, sluggish global demand and rising tariff war.

“The softening of crude, steel and other commodities prices also pulled down exports. Only 8 out of 30 major product groups were in positive territory during August 2019. Rest all major sectors of exports, including almost all labour-intensive sectors of exports besides petroleum, were in the negative showing such a decelerating trend,” Saraf was quoted as saying in a statement.

“The slowdown in chemical and plastics exports are particularly worrisome as we were growing in these sectors.”

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Samsung ‘Galaxy Fold’ coming to India on Oct 1

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New Delhi, Sep 24 : Samsung is finally bringing its much-anticipated and most-premium smartphone “Galaxy Fold” to India on October 1 — just a month after its global debut in South Korea — highly-placed sources told IANS on Tuesday.

The smartphone-cum-tablet “Galaxy Fold” smartphone is likely to be priced between Rs 1.5 lakh-Rs 1.75 lakh in India. It will be sold through select retail outlets and will be available only via pre-book mode, the sources added.

Galaxy Fold will come with exclusive access to specialized customer care services – including one-on-one access to Samsung experts, and a 24/7 support hub online or over the phone.

The smartphone was originally set to be released on April 26 but the manufacturer delayed it to fix units that experienced display issues.

Galaxy Fold comes with a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display and six cameras. The device has a secondary 4.6-inch screen on the cover of the phone. It opens up with 7.3-inch infinity flex display and when closed, it becomes 4.6 inch display with a 12:9 ratio.

The premium smartphone is backed by 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core SoC, paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB storage.

“Galaxy Fold” combines consumers’ favourite smartphone and tablet features to deliver a new kind of experience — from a new form factor and materials to its unique foldable UX, versatile camera and premium performance.

“Consumers have responded positively to larger screens, and the Galaxy Fold’s revolutionary form factor offers a bigger, more immersive screen without sacrificing portability. This is what we call innovation of new mobile experience in action,” DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics said in a statement recently.

Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s fourth 5G smartphone, following the Galaxy S10, Note 10 and A90, reinforcing its product portfolio for the ultra-fast network.

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RBI bars PMC Bank from business transactions

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Reserve Bank of India RBI

Mumbai, Sep 24 The Reserve Bank of India has placed the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd, Mumbai from carrying out any kind of business transactions, here on Tuesday, sparking panic among the banks depositors and sending shock waves in city trading community.

The apex bank’s Chief General Manager Yogesh Dayal said that as per the RBI directions, depositors cannot withdraw more than Rs 1,000 of the total balance in their savings/current/other deposit accounts.

The PMC Bank has been barred from granting, renewing and loans and advances, make any investments, accept fresh deposits, etc, without the prior written approval from RBI.

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End of Boeing 737 MAX grounding up to individual countries, says US FAA

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Two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed over the past year — the first in Indonesia in October 2018 and the second in Ethiopia in March. The second tragedy led to world aviation authorities and carriers either grounding all 737 MAX series aircraft or closing their airspace to them.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday that the FAA continues to follow a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the aircraft to passenger service, adding that “aach government will make its own decision to return the aircraft to service, based on a thorough safety assessment”.

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