Maintaining the upward trend in overseas shipments, Indian exports posted a healthy growth of 34.4 per cent at $23.9 billion in April, which was however down from the robust 44 per cent growth in March this year.

With uncertainties continuing to haunt the global markets, especially European Union States, exporters are not sure whether the high growth rate trend could be sustained in the coming months. It is felt that the diversification to the new markets and incentives provided by the Government to the exporters to do business in new countries shifting from the traditional markets has helped sustain this kind of a growth.

According to the provisional data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, imports grew at a lesser pace of 14.1 per cent to $32.8 billion in April this year.

Trade deficit for the opening month of the current fiscal narrowed to $8.9 billion from $11 billion a year ago. According to data released earlier by Commerce Secretary, Rahul Khullar, export growth in April led by engineering consignments which went up by 109 per cent to $6.8 billion.

Export of petroleum products grew by 53 per cent to $4.3 billion and gems and jewellery by 39 per cent to $2.9 billion. Readymade garments clocked in an expansion of 12.7 per cent with consignments worth $1.1 billion. The rise in export value is also attributed to increase in the cost of production, thanks to inflationary pressures. "Once the prices of the raw material stabilise, it may have an impact on India's exports growth," Ajay Sahai, Director General of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said.

Mr. Sahay pegged the export growth for the entire fiscal at about 11 per cent with the total shipments going up to $275 billion from $ 246 billion in 2010-11. Uncertainty in Europe and not-too encouraging data about the US economy remain areas of concern is also something of concern to the exporters.

Though the April growth is lower than 44 per cent growth in March, it was because the consignments generally peak in the last quarter of the financial year.

Keywords: Indian exports

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