Exports grow by 10.8 pc in Oct

New Delhi: India`s exports grew by just 10.8 per cent to USD 19.8 billion in October, the lowest in the last two years, mainly due to the declining demand in the US and Europe. The growth rate has been the lowest since October, 2009, when it contracted by 6.6 per cent.

Imports grew at a faster rate of 21.7 per cent to USD 39.5 billion leaving a trade deficit of USD 19.6 billion, the highest ever in any month in the last four years, which is also due to expensive crude oils and vegetable oils,according to the Commerce Ministry data released on Thursday.

From a peak of 82 per cent in July, export growth has slipped to 44.25 per cent in August, 36.36 per cent in September and 10.8 per cent in October. In October, oil imports grew by 20.73 per cent to USD 10 billion. Whereas the non-oil imports rose by 22 per cent to USD 29.4 billion over the year-ago period.

But, for the cumulative April-October period, exports aggregated to USD 179.7 billion showing a handsome growth of 45.9 per cent, thanks to sterling trend witnessed in the previous months of the current fiscal. A steady rise of 30.9 per cent in imports for the seven- month period to USD 273.4 billion has left trade gap widening to USD 93.7 billion.

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has expressed concerns over the increasing balance of trade and said that at this rate, it may breach USD 150 billion mark during 2011-12. During April-October, oil imports stood at USD 81.9 billion, an increase of 40 per cent. The non-oil imports rose by 27.1 per cent to USD 191.5 billion.