Exports dipped for the eleventh consecutive month in a row with a 19.7 per cent fall at $14.3 billion in August against $17.8 billion in the same month last year.
However, exporters, by and large, were hopeful that things would cheer up with the expectations of Christmas orders from markets in the West.
Talking to newsmen, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said the provisional data for August would be formally released in October. For April-August this fiscal, exports contracted by 31.3 per cent to $63.9 billion from $93.1 billion in the same period last year. The contraction in July was 28.4 per cent.
“There is a ray of hope and a lot would depend on the Christmas orders. The decline in shipments was the lowest since January 2009,” he remarked. In August, exports of rice, tobacco, fruits and vegetable, marine products, iron ore, man-made yarn and fabrics, some minerals, like coal, and garments had shown positive growth, Mr. Khullar said.
Gems and jewellery, drugs and pharmaceuticals, engineering goods and leather, which account for the bulk of country’s exports, however, continue to remain in the negative territory.