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Exports up 4.62 per cent in September; trade deficit at 9-month high

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New Delhi :Recovering from a two-month decline, exports went up by 4.62 per cent to USD 22.9 billion in September. Sectors which helped the outbound shipments revive include engineering (6.51 per cent), gems and jewellery (22.42 per cent), handicrafts (23 per cent), textiles (12.62 per cent) and chemicals (6 per cent).

However, the country’s imports contracted by 2.54 per cent to USD 31.22 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 8.33 billion in the month under review. The trade gap is, however, the highest in the last nine months. It was USD 11.66 billion in December 2015. In September 2015, the trade gap was USD 10.16 billion.

Reacting to the data, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said, “if this trend continues, we can achieve USD 280 billion or even more in exports in the current fiscal”.

The support given by the government will be more visible in the exports figure in coming months as exporters have factored them in their prices to increase competitiveness, it said in a statement.

During April-September this fiscal, exports dipped by 1.74 per cent to USD 131.4 billion. Imports too contracted by 13.77 per cent to USD 174.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 43 billion.

Exports of petroleum goods, however, dipped 1.43 per cent to USD 2.55 billion in September. Oil imports during the month grew by 3.13 per cent to USD 6.88 billion. Non-oil imports, on the other hand, shrank by 4 per cent to USD 24.33 billion.

Since December 2014, exports fell for the straight 18 months till May 2016 due to weak global demand and slide in oil prices. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year thereafter again entered into negative zone in July and August.

PTI

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