Continuing with a rising trend for the second consecutive month, exports registered a 9.3 per cent in December 2009 while imports also turned positive after positing negative growth for 11 months.
Imports registered an impressive growth of 27.2 per cent in December.
After falling for 13 straight months, exports in November 2009 grew by 18.2 per cent — for the first time since the global financial meltdown engulfed the world.
Exports increased to $14.6 billion in December from $13.36 billion a year ago, marking a reversal of declines that had set in since October 2008 due to demand slump in key global markets. Imports went up to $24.75 billion in December from $19.45 billion in December 2008, leading to a widened trade gap of $10.14 billion during the month against $6.08 billion in the year-ago period. However, exports dropped by 20.3 per cent to $117.58 billion for the April-December 2009 period from $147.56 billion in the same period in the previous year.
Imports during the nine month period of this fiscal were $193.82 billion, 23.6 per cent lower than $253.80 billion in the year ago period.
Reacting to the development, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President A. Sakthivel said the growth in imports reflected the effect of double-digit growth in the manufacturing sector. Despite the positive growth, exports in the current fiscal were likely to remain much lower than the $-billion worth of shipments last year, Mr. Sakthivel pointed out.
Second month in a row, oil imports also went up by 42.8 per cent to $6.53 billion in December from $4.57 billion a year ago. Oil imports during the first nine months of this fiscal were $56.91 billion against $81.10 billion the year ago period.
Non-oil imports grew by 22.4 per cent to $18.21 billion in December from $14.87 billion in December 2008. Non-oil imports were 20.7 per cent lower at $136.91 billion in the first nine months of this fiscal than the $172.70 billion in the comparable period last year.
The trade gap during the first nine months of the current fiscal was $76.24 billion compared to $106.24 billion in the same period last year.