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Exports decline by 5.45 pc due to global economic slowdown

PTI August 01, 2012 19:07 IST
New Delhi, Aug 1: Hit by slowdown in the Western markets, India's export growth declined 5.45 per cent in June for the second month in a row, to USD 25 billion.

Besides, reflecting slowdown in the domestic economy, imports too dipped sharply by 13.46 per cent to USD 35.37 billion, from USD 40.8 billion in June 2011, resulting in a narrower trade deficit of USD 10.3 billion for the month.

The decline in the country's shipments comes amid India's economic growth slipping to 9-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2011-12, and subdued industrial output in the first two months of the current fiscal.

“The contraction in global demand and deceleration in manufacturing are primary reason for decline in exports,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Rafeeque Ahmed said.

According to the data released by the Commerce Ministry today, exports during the April-June quarter of 2012-13 fiscal dipped by 1.7 per cent to USD 75.2 billion, from USD 76.5 billion in the same period last fiscal.

Commerce Secretary S R Rao has said the markets in the euro zone, the US, China and Japan are still not showing healthy growth and these are signs of global recession.

Imports during the first quarter of this fiscal dipped by 6.10 per cent to USD 115.25 billion, from USD 122.74 billion in the April-June period of last fiscal.

Trade deficit during the quarter stood at USD 40 billion. Experts expressed relief over narrowing trade deficit.

“Trade deficit has come down. We expect it to be under control in the coming months,” international trade expert with Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Rakesh Mohan Joshi said.

Decline in exports was particularly witnessed in sectors like handicrafts, jute, tea and cashew.

Top exporting commodities during the April-June quarter included rice, which increased 104 per cent, iron ore (40 per cent), oil meal (38 per cent) and spices (35 per cent).

In value terms, exports of petroleum products (USD 12.9 billion), engineering goods (USD 14.6 billion), gems and jewellery (USD 10 billion), and pharmaceutical and readymade garments too showed strong growth.

Imports of petroleum products touched USD 41.5 billion during April-June 2012. Other importing sectors which registered growth include gems and silver (USD 9.4 billion),  machinery (USD 8.5 billion), electronics (USD 7.1 billion).