Reversing a declining trend during the past few months, India’s exports registered a 10.1 per cent growth in January at $25.34 billion with the demand from the Western markets remaining weak.

The exports growth rate was a marginal increase over December 2011. The shipments had grown by 6.7 per cent year-on-year in December 2011. Imports grew at a faster rate of 20.25 per cent to $40.1 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $14.76 billion, according to official data released by the Commerce Ministry here on Thursday.

From a peak of 82 per cent in July 2011, export growth has slipped to 44.25 per cent in August 2011, 36.36 per cent in September 2011 and 10.8 per cent in October last year. But, for the cumulative April-January period, exports aggregated to $242.79 billion showing a healthy growth of 23.47 per cent.

Imports during the 10-month period stood at $391.45 billion, an increase of 29.4 per cent. The trade gap aggregated to $148.66 billion.

Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation (FIEO) president Rafeeque Ahmed said the figures clearly indicate that 2012 would be a difficult year for exports in view of growing uncertainty in the euro-zone area, slacking of demand in other advance economies and third country effect on India's exports to emerging economies.

Oil imports in January were valued at $12.32 billion which was 26.78 per cent higher than in January 2011. Non-oil imports during the month increased by 17.56 per cent to $27.78 billion. During April-January, 2011-12, oil imports went up by 38.83 per cent to $117.91 billion from $84.93 billion in the corresponding period last year. Non-oil imports were up by 25.71 per cent to $273.54 billion over the same period last year.

Keywords: exports growth

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The Commerce Ministry's secretApril 30, 2012