India’s exports slumped 14.8 per cent to $22.44 billion in July as compared to $26.34 billion recorded during the corresponding month in 2011 due to lower demands in North America and Europe, government data showed on Monday.
The cumulative value of exports in the first four months of the current financial year stands at $97.64 billion, 5.06 per cent lower than the $102.85 billion recorded during the corresponding period of last year.
Imports dropped 7.61 per cent to $37.93 billion in July, leaving a monthly trade deficit of $15.49 billion, according to data released by the commerce ministry. The first four months’ data indicate exports are likely to remain sluggish in the coming months and the whole year target might fall substantially short. The government has set a target of $360 billion of exports in the current financial year.
Exports had increased by 20.94 per cent to $303.71 billion in financial year ended March 31, 2012, surpassing the government’s target of $300 billion.
The ministry said the lingering economic crisis in the European countries and North America has severely affected India’s foreign trade, especially exports. The cumulative value of imports for the period April-July 2012-13 was $153.19 billion, 6.47 per cent down from the $163.80 billion registered during the corresponding period of 2011-12.
With decline in both exports and imports, trade deficit has also narrowed. In April-July period of the current fiscal, a cumulative trade deficit of $55.55 billion was recorded, which is lower than the deficit of $60.95 registered in the like period of 2011-12. Oil imports during July 2012 were valued at $12.23 billion, 5.52 per cent lower than oil imports valued at $12.94 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Oil imports during the first four months of the current fiscal were valued at $53.81 billion, 2.76 per cent higher than the oil imports of $52.36 billion in the corresponding period last year. Non-oil imports during July were estimated at $25.70 billion, 8.57 per cent lower than non-oil imports of $28.11 billion in July 2011. Non-oil imports during April-July period were valued at $99.38 billion, 10.82 per cent lower than the level of such imports valued at $111.43 billion in April-July 2011.
Amid choppy trade, a benchmark index of Indian equities markets on Monday closed 45 points lower.
Realty, oil and gas and banking scrips were the worst hit on continuing trade and global economic woes. The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 17,465.60 points, closed at 17,384.40 points, 0.26 per cent or 45.16 points down from its previous day’s close at 17,429.56 points.