Riding on the back of the renewed demand from the traditional markets in West and Europe, India's exports grew by an impressive 56.9 per cent at $25.9 billion in May year-on-year.

Imports also went up by 54.1 per cent to $40.9 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $15 billion. “This is the highest imports figure in the last four years. Good run of exports is continuing,'' Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters here.

During April-May, exports increased by 45.3 per cent to $49.8 billion. Imports during the same period grew by 33.3 per cent to $73.7 billion. The trade deficit in the first two months stood at $23.9 billion.

Mr. Khullar said the import figures were only the rough estimates and the final figures were subject to change. Mr. Khullar expressed happiness over the export performance, which was at an all time high, and at the same time he was concerned over the surge in imports.

During April-May, the following sectors have done well: engineering 115 per cent ($14.7 billion); gems and jewellery 23 per cent ($5.70 billion); petroleum and oil products 64 per cent ($8.8 billion); cotton yarn and made-ups 10.4 per cent ($1.04 billion); electronics 80 per cent ($1.83 billion) and marine products 15.8 percent ($0.4 billion).

Mr. Khullar said exports of iron ore, fruits and vegetables and tobacco were on the negative growth because of ban on exports on these sectors. As regards imports during April-May 2011, the growth estimates on the following sectors are: pearls and precious stones 24.6 per cent ($5.20 billion); gold and silver 222 per cent ($13.5 billion); iron and steel 13 per cent ($1.80 billion) and machinery 46.7 per cent ($5.90 billion).

Exports of carpets went up by 7 per cent to $73 million in May, on account of rising demand from emerging markets such as China and Latin America.

Exports stood at $68 million in May 2010, according to the Carpet Export Promotion Council. Of the total carpets exports, Europe accounts for 40 per cent, the U.S. 30 per cent, the Middle East 20 per cent and Latin America 10 per cent. During April-May, 2011, carpet exports grew by 13 per cent to $129 million compared to the same period last fiscal.

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