Sluggish demand in North America and Europe saw India's exports decline by 14.8% to $22.4 billion (Rs 12,34,200 crore) in July as compared to $26.3 billion during the corresponding period last year.
The tally for the first four months of the current financial year stood at $97.6 billion (Rs 53,70,000 crore),a decline of 5.1% over the $102.9 billion (Rs 56,56,750 crore) during the corresponding period last year.
Imports too dropped by 7.6% to $37.9 billion (Rs 20,86,150 crore) in July, as oil imports slid by 5.5% during the month.
The monthly trade deficit for July stood at $15.5 billion (Rs 8,51,950 crore), the commerce ministry said on Monday.So far the data indicates exports will remain sluggish in the coming months and the annual target of $360 billion (Rs 1,98,00,000 crore) may be missed substantially.
Exports had increased by 20.9% to $303.7 billion (Rs 1,67,04,050 crore) in the last financial year, surpassing the government's target of $300 billion (Rs 1,65,00,000 crore).
The cumulative value of imports for the period April-July 2012-13 was $153.2 billion (Rs 84,25,450 crore), 6.5% lower than the $163.8 billion (Rs 90,09,000 crore) of 2011-12.
The decline in exports and imports has narrowed the trade deficit as well. In April-July period, cumulative trade deficit stood at $55.6 billion (Rs 30,55,250 crore) that is lower than the deficit of $60.9 (Rs 33,52,250 crore) of 2011-12.