New Delhi, November 11: Recovery in global markets pushed the country’s exports to a two year high of 13.47 per cent to $27.2 billion in October even as trade deficit worsened on account of rise in gold imports.
Last time in September 2011, the country’s merchandise shipments increased by 36 per cent.
Gold and silver imports increased to $1.3 billion in the month under review from $0.8 billion in September 2013.
Trade deficit jumped to $10.5 billion as against $6.76 billion in September this year. The trade deficit in October 2012 was at $20.2 billion. Oil imports grew by 1.7 per cent year-on-year to $15.2 billion.
Overall imports declined by 14.5 per cent to $37.8 billion in October as compared to the same period last year.
Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao said improvement in western markets have helped in pushing the exports.
“Exports have shown a significant increase and imports fell significantly…All the regions are doing well. We see no concerns. Only South Asia and Latin America are marginally low,” Mr. Rao told reporters here.
In April-October, exports grew by 6.32 per cent to $179.38 billion, while imports during the period contracted by 3.8 per cent to $270.06 billion.
Mr. Rao expressed confidence that the country would achieve the $325 billion target for the current fiscal.
“All the major sectors (engineering, textiles and gems and jewellery) having significant contribution have shown a positive growth trend,” he added. Engineering exports grew by 36 per cent to $5.6 billion in October.
Commenting on the figures, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A. Sakthivel said exports were expected to continue growing in double digits in the coming months.
Mr. Rao said that gold and silver imports in October grew due to the clearing of air on a RBI norm for gold imports. The RBI’s 80:20 scheme for gold imports had left many confused, leading to imports being held up at customs.
In April—October, exports grew by 6.32 per cent to $179.38 billion, while imports during the period contracted by 3.8 per cent to $270.06 billion.
Trade deficit in the first seven months of the fiscal stood at $90.68 billion as against $112.3 billion in April-October 2012.
Gold and Silver imports in April-October 2013 declined by 12.86 per cent to $24 billion compared to $28 billion in the same period last year.
Oil imports during April-October 2013-14 grew by 3.3 per cent to $98.1 billion. However, non-oil imports in October dipped by 22.80 per cent to $22.6 billion and during the seven months period too, it declined by 7.43 per cent to $171.96 billion.
On the expectation of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) that exports would touch $350 billion, Mr. Rao said: “we hope and pray for that. Things are looking encouraging“.
Petroleum product exports jumped to $35 billion in April—October 2013 period from $33 billion in the same period last year. Engineering shipments grew by 40.5 per cent to $33.66 billion.
Further, FIEO said that trade deficit for the current fiscal may be around $140 billion much less than 192 billion recorded in 2012-13.