India’s exports rise by 3.23 percent in April

June 1st, 2012 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) India’s exports grew at a sluggish rate of 3.23 percent to $24.45 billion in April, while imports increased by 3.83 percent to $37.94 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $13.48 billion, official data showed Friday.

Growth in exports has turned sluggish in recent months due to weak demands of Indian products in the traditional markets like the US and European countries.

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

In the first month of the current financial year, exports of engineering products grew by 14.2 percent at $5.2 billion. Electronics exports grew by 5.4 percent to $0.6 billion, drugs, and pharmaceuticals exports rose by 33 percent to $1.1 billion.

Other sectors that registered positive growth in exports included leather, 3.2 percent higher at $0.3 billion; basic chemicals, 11.4 percent higher at $0.9 billion and marine products, 21 percent higher at $0.2 billon.

However, exports of cotton yarn and fabric made-up slumped by 20.4 percent at $0.49 billion.

Imports of gold and silver slumped by 33 percent at $3.1 billion. Imports of the precious metal were low mainly due to industry shutdown in early April. Jewellers went on 21-day strike protesting the budgetary proposal to levy additional duties on sale of jewellery. Under pressure from various quarters, the government subsequently withdrew that proposal.

Exports of gems and jewellery also fell 25.7 percent to $2.6 billion in April.

Trade deficit widened to a record $184.92 billion in 2011-12, substantially higher than the government’s target of $150 billion, and $118.63 billion deficit recorded in the previous fiscal.

As regards imports during April 2012, it was led by the increase in petroleum products, coal and machinery.

Imports of coal rose by 25.5 percent to $1.5 billion. Machinery imports grew by 14.9 percent to $2.9 billion and imports of petroleum, oil and lubricants rose by 7 percent to $13.9 billion.

However, imports of gold and silver fell by 33 percent to $3.1 billion and imports of pearls and precious stones slumped by 63.3 percent to $1.2 billion.

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