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India exports slump 10%

Publication Date : 02-10-2012

 

Hobbled by slow and sluggish trends in Western economies, India’s exports slumped for the fourth month in a row in August to 9.74 per cent.

Also reflecting slowdown in the domestic economy, imports too dipped by 5.08 per cent to US$37.95 billion, from $40 billion in August 2011, resulting in a trade deficit of $15.7 billion for the month.

Experts said the dismal showing by exports would make it that much more difficult to meet the $360 billion target in the current fiscal. 

The decline in the country’s shipments comes amid India’s economic growth slipping to 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal and subdued industrial output.

However, the decline in exports in August is lower than that of the previous month, when the exports contracted by 15 per cent. 

Commerce secretary SR Rao had recently said the incentives announced in the foreign trade policy were the reason for the reduced decline. The government had extended two per cent interest subsidy to exports in the policy besides other benefits. 

In the April-August period, too, the shipment dipped by about six per cent to $120 billion from $127.5 billion in the corresponding period last year.

During the first five months of the fiscal, imports contracted by 6.2 per cent to $191.1 billion. Trade deficit during the period stood at $71.1 billion.

India’s apex exporters body Fieo said given the global scenario, meeting the exports target of $360 billion for this fiscal looks difficult. 

“Contraction in global demand and deceleration in manufacturing sector are the primary reasons for the decline in exports. However, exports may take off by October,” Fieo president M Rafeeque Ahmed said. 

Oil imports during August grew by 2.96 per cent to $12.88 billion compared to $12.51 billion in the year-ago period. However, non-oil imports during the month declined by 8.74 per cent to $25.1 million, the official statement said.

During the April-August period this fiscal, oil imports were valued at $66.7 billion, up 2.80 per cent as against $64.88 billion in the corresponding period of 2011-12.

Non-oil imports during the period stood at $124.46 billion, 10.41 per cent lower as compared to the same period last year when it stood at $138.92 billion.

 

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