India’s exports rose 6.71 percent to $25 bn in December

February 1st, 2012 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) India’s exports grew by 6.71 percent to $25.01 billion in December, while imports surged to $37.75 billion, leaving a monthly trade deficit of $12.74 billion, official data showed Wednesday.

Although the growth in exports in December has increased as compared to the previous month, it is substantially down from the average 33.21 percent growth registered in the first eight months of 2011-12.

Exports growth had slumped to 3.87 percent in November.

The cumulative value of exports for the period April-December increased to $217.66 billion as compared to $172.96 billion during the corresponding period of previous year, registering a growth of 25.84 percent, according to data released by the ministry of commerce and industry.

The government targets to increase exports to $300 billion in the fiscal ending March 31, 2012.

However, analysts say that given the sharp decline in exports growth in the third quarter of the fiscal, it would not be possible to achieve the $300 billion exports target.

“We are likely to miss the export target of $300 billion set for the current fiscal and achieving $500 billion exports by 2013-14 seems to be difficult,” M. Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said earlier this week.

The more worrying trend is a sharp increase in imports despite moderation in exports growth, which has widened the trade deficit.

In April-December 2011 period, imports surged 30.37 percent to $350.93 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $133.27 billion in the first nine month of the current financial year.

The exports is likely to fall short of the official target of $300 billion while the trade deficit is expected to surge to $160 billion for the year ending March 31, 2012, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said earlier this month while releasing the provisional trade data.

Petroleum and oil products and engineering goods have led the exports growth in the first nine months of the year.

During the April-December period, exports of engineering goods rose by 21.6 percent to $45.3 billion, petroleum and oil products 55 percent to $43.9 billion and gems and jewellery registered growth of 38.5 percent to $33.5 billion.

Other sectors that registered good growth included drugs and pharmaceuticals — 21.5 percent higher at $9.1 billion, leather — 25.8 percent higher at $3.4 billion, electronics — 21.1 percent higher at $6.7 billion and readymade garments — 23.7 percent higher at $9.6 billion.

Imports of petroleum, oil and lubricants rose by 40.4 percent at $105.6 billion during April-December period. Imports of gold and silver surged by 53.8 percent to $45.5 billion, machinery 27.7 percent to $25.8 billion, electronics 24 percent to $25.2 billion, fertilizers 35 percent to $8.2 billion and coal 62 percent to $12.5 billion.

Oil imports increased by 11.20 percent to $10.27 billion in December while non-oil imports rose by 23.38 percent to $27.47 billion.

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