India's merchandise exports grew 11.5 percent to $14.34 billion (Rs.65,920 crore) for the third consecutive month in January, according to data released by the ministry of commerce Tuesday.

The rise for the third straight month in January comes after 13 successive months of decline since October 2008 on account of the global economic meltdown.

India's merchandise exports rose 9 percent year-on-year to $14.6 billion in December while the value of shipments was up 18.2 percent in the month before at $13.2 billion.

“Cumulative value of exports for the period April 2009 to January 2010 was $131.9 billion (Rs.6,292.24 billion) as against $160.4 billion (Rs.7,157.64 billion) registering a negative growth of 17.8 percent in dollar terms,” said the statement from the ministry.

Imports during January also rose to touch $24.7 billion, an increase of 35.5 percent, compared to the like month of 2009.

However, cumulative value of imports for the nine months of current fiscal, dipped 19.7 percent to $218.5 billion.

The value of oil imports during January were 56 percent higher at $7.05 billion, compared to the previous corresponding period. The same was, however, 25.3 percent lower during April-January at $63.9 billion.

Non-oil imports during the month stood at $17.65 billion, 28.8 percent higher than the previous corresponding month, while the same were valued at $154.5 billion for the first nine months of current fiscal, 17.1 percent lower.

The trade deficit for the period April 2009-January, 2010 was $86.6 billion, lower than the deficit of $111.599 billion during the previous corresponding period.

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