Exports dip by 5.45 percent; trade deficit narrows (Lead)

July 13th, 2012 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) India’s exports dropped 5.45 percent to $25.07 billion in June, falling sharply for the second consecutive month due to weak demands in North America and European countries, government data showed Friday.

Imports also fell sharply, leading to narrowing in trade deficit. Imports dropped by 13.46 percent to $35.37 billion in June, leaving a trade deficit of $10.3 billion, according to data released by the commerce and industry ministry.

This is the lowest level of trade deficit in 15 months. In May, the trade deficit was $16.26 billion.

Both exports as well as imports declined in May also. Exports had fallen by 4.16 percent to $25.68 billion and imports declined by 7.36 percent to $41.94 billion.

Talking to reporters here, Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao blamed weak demands in the US and European countries for the recent slowdown in India’s exports.

Rao said the world trade was passing through a difficult phase, which was reflected in India’s trade data.

“In the past two-three months, there has been a tremendous dip in world trade. This will continue over the next one to two years,” Rao said.

The first three months’ data indicate exports are likely to remain sluggish in the coming months and the whole-year target might fall substantially short.

The government has set a target of 20 percent growth in exports in the fiscal 2012-13.

Exports had increased by 20.94 percent to $303.71 billion in the financial year ended March 31, 2012, surpassing the government’s target of $300 billion.

The cumulative value of exports during April-June 2012 period declined by 1.7 percent to $75.20 billion. During this period imports dropped by 6.10 percent to $115.26 billion.

In the first quarter of the current financial year, major exports in absolute terms were: petroleum $12.9 billion, engineering goods $14.6 billion, gems and jewellery $10 billion, drugs $2.1 billion and readymade garments $3.2 billion.

The main imports in absolute term during April-June period were: petroleum $41.5 billion, gold and silver $9.4 billion, machineries $8.5 billion, pearls $4.6 billion and electrical goods $7.1 billion.

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