With exports registering a healthy growth of 26.5 per cent during November 2010 at $18.8 billion, the Commerce Ministry officials were confident that the overall exports would easily breach the $200 billion target set for this fiscal.

With the Western economies showing signs of revival and the formula to look out for new areas and markets for Indian products paying rich dividends, India's exports grew by 26.5 per cent year-on-year to $18.8 billion in November from $14.9 billion in the same month in the previous year.

On the other hand, imports rose by 11.2 per cent to $27.7 billion, leaving a trade gap of $8.9 billion, according to data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Monday.

Oil imports increased by 2.31 per cent to $7.7 billion from $7.5 billion. Non-oil imports during the month grew by 15 per cent to $20.07 billion from $17.44 billion in November 2009.

During April-November 2010, shipments increased by 26.7 per cent to $140.2 billion from $110.6 billion in the year-ago period. Imports were higher by 23.9 per cent at $221.9 billion against $179 billion in the corresponding period last year. The trade deficit stood at $81.6 billion and is expected to be in the range of $120-125 billion.

During April-November, oil imports rose by 21.4 per cent to $64.8 billion from $53.4 billion in the year ago period. Non-oil imports too went up by 25 per cent to $157.11 billion from $125.64 billion. Sectors which performed well during April-November include engineering goods, petroleum and refinery items and cotton yarn.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) predicted that exports could touch $220 billion, sharing the optimism of the Commerce Ministry. “Exports may reach the new milestone of $220 billion this fiscal,” FIEO President Ramu Deora said.

The government had fixed an export target of $200 billion for 2010-11. In 2009-10, shipments had declined by 4.7 per cent to $176.5 billion under the impact of global slowdown.

“The continuous increase in trade deficit is a worrying issue. The government should devise a strategy to reduce the trade deficit,” Mr. Deora said.

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