Helped by a sharp fall in gold and silver imports, India's trade deficit declined to $9.92 billion in January from $18.97 billion recorded in the corresponding month of last year, government data showed Tuesday.
January trade deficit is also lower than the previous month's figure. The trade gap was at $10.14 billion in December.
According to data released in New Delhi by the ministry of commerce and industry, India's exports rose by 3.79% to $26.75 billion in January this year as compared to $25.78 billion recorded in the corresponding month of previous year.
Imports slumped by 18.07% to $36.57 billion in January, led by a 77% drop in gold and silver imports.
Gold and silver imports fell by 77% to $1.72 billion in January as compared to $7.49 billion recorded in the corresponding month of last year, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters in New Delhi.
For the first 10 months of the current financial year, imports of gold and silver stood at $29 billion as compared to $46.7 billion recorded in the corresponding period of last fiscal, registering an year-on-year decline of 37%, Kher said.
Cumulative value of exports for April-January period of fiscal 2013-14 was $257.08 billion, as compared to $243.19 billion recorded in the same period of last fiscal, registering a growth of 5.71%.
Total value of imports for the first 10 months of the current fiscal stood at $377.04 billion, as against $408.99 billion in the first 10 months 2012-13, registering an year-on-year decline of 7.81%.
The trade deficit for April-January period of the current fiscal narrowed to $119.95 billion from $165.80 billion recorded in the same period of last year.
Oil imports during January this year were valued at $13.18 billion, 10.1% lower than oil imports bill of $14.66 billion in the same month last year.
Cumulative value of oil imports for April-January period of current fiscal was $138.14 billion, 1.2% higher than the oil imports of $136.49 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports during January, 2014 were estimated at $23.48 billion, 22% lower than non-oil imports of $30.08 billion in the same month of last year.
Cumulative value of non-oil imports during April-January period of current fiscal were $238.90 billion, 12.3% lower than the level of such imports valued at $272.49 billion in the corresponding month of last year.