Register 14.8 % drop in July

India’s exports registered a 14.8 per cent fall in July at $22.4 billion with its traditional markets of Europe and U.S. showing little signs of recovery.

The steepest fall in three years in exports, indicating tough days ahead, had its impact on the imports also as imports declined by 7.61 per cent to $37.9 billion in July, leaving a trade deficit of $15.4 billion. During the April-July period of the current fiscal, shipments have shrunk by 5.06 per cent to $97.6 billion and imports by 6.47 per cent to $153.2 billion. This is likely to make it difficult for the country to achieve the exports target of $360 billion set for the current fiscal.

Last time when exports witnessed such a steep fall was in August 2009, down by 23.5 per cent.

Oil imports in July declined by 5.52 per cent to $12.22 billion and non-oil imports by 8.57 per cent to $25.7 billion.

However, during April-July, oil imports grew by 2.76 per cent to $53.81 billion from $52.36 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Non-oil imports

However, non-oil imports during April-July 2012-13 dipped by 10.82 per cent year-on-year to $99.38 billion.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President, R. V. Kanoria, said the main cause of concern was the need to bring back competitiveness in the economy and also to stimulate investments. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President, M. Rafeeque Ahmed, said the dip in export growth was primarily on account of sluggish global conditions and slowdown in domestic manufacturing.

Moody’s Analytics said the cheaper rupee had only a minor effect on exporters, who were struggling in the face of weak external demand, as well as domestic supply-side issues.

“The global outlook is for continued weakness through the second-half of the year and this will continue to weigh on Indian export growth over this period,’’ it said in a statement.

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