India’s exports decline for second straight month

January 1st, 2009 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) The New Year started with some disheartening news for India’s exporting community with the latest trade data showing a 9.9-percent drop in outbound merchandise shipments in November - the second straight month of decline.Exports during November were valued at $11.505 million, which was 9.9 percent lower than the $12.768 million during the like month of last fiscal, as per data released by the commerce and industry ministry Thursday.

India’s merchandise exports had fallen 12.1 percent in October as well to log the sharpest fall in 10 years, due largely to the global financial meltdown, raising doubts over meeting the target of $200 billion for the current fiscal.

Reacting to the trade data, Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai said the decline was expected and hoped for a pick up from next fiscal. “I would expect exports of $175 billion this fiscal,” he said, making it clear that the target for the fiscal will prove elusive.

The trade data showed that cumulatively, exports for the first eight months were up 19.4 percent at $119.301 billion against $99.912 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal. In rupee terms, the increase was 29.5 percent.

India’s imports, on the other hand were valued at $21.571 billion in November, logging a 6.1 percent increase over $20.329 billion in the like month of last fiscal. Cumulatively, imports were up 33 percent during the eight-month period at $203.642 billion against $153.109 billion.

Thanks to the softening of crude prices in international markets, the import bill for oil expanded by just 11.9 percent to $7.254 billion in November from $6.483 billion in the corresponding month of last year.

Oil imports during April-November period were valued at $74.114 billion, which was 55.7 percent higher than the oil imports of $47.597 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

The trade deficit for April-November is, thus, estimated at $84.341 billion, which is higher than the deficit of $53.197 billion in the like period of last fiscal.

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