Halting the rate of decline, India’s Exports fell by an annual 19.4 per cent in August for the eleventh consecutive month with the hope that things would start looking up from Christmas onwards for exporters.
Overseas shipments aggregated $14.28 billion in August this fiscal against $17.72 billion a year ago. However, the decline was less pronounced in the month under review against 28.4 per cent in July as demand for merchandise picked up in the big global markets ahead of Christmas.
Imports saw a steep drop of 32.4 per cent in the month under review to $22.66 billion, mainly due to a sharp fall in crude oil prices to $70 a barrel from a peak of $147 a barrel last year. As a result, the country’s trade gap narrowed to $8.37 billion from $15.78 billion in the same month in 2008, according to official data released on Thursday.
Exports during April-August dropped by 31 per cent to $64.12 billion from $92.95 billion in the same period last year. While the oil import bill declined by 45.5 per cent in August this year to $6.28 billion from $11.52 in the year-ago period, non-oil imports were down by 25.5 per cent at $16.38 billion against $21.99 billion a year ago.
Oil imports in the April-August period dipped by 47.4 per cent to $28.27 billion from $53.74 billion in the same period last year. Non-oil imports in the first five months of this financial year declined by 25.9 per cent to $74.02 billion from $99.94 billion.
The trade gap during the period was $38.17 billion, down from $60.73 billion in April-August 2008-09. Overseas shipments grew by a meagre 3.4 per cent to $168.7 billion in 2008-09.