Growth rate of Indian exports entered the negative zone after a gap of six months, declining 5.04% in October owing to a dip in shipments from major sectors such as engineering, pharma and gems and jewellery.
Gold imports, which jumped manifold to $4.17 billion, increased the trade deficit to $13.35 billion during the month as against $10.59 billion in October 2013.
However, the trade gap is lower than the previous month when it was $14.24 billion.
It was in March that exports growth was in negative zone last time, when shipments had declined by 3.15%.
Exporters attributed the dip in exports in October to subdued demand in the US and European markets.
"Markets are not getting better. EU is going bad. The numbers are disappointing. The government is also not announcing any measures to help us," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Rafeeq Ahmed said.
Sharing similar views, CII National Committee on Exports and Imports Chairman Sanjay Budhia too said that government should soon announce the new Foreign Trade Policy.
Top exporting sectors that registered negative growth in October include engineering (-9.18%), pharma (-8.33%), gems and jewellery (-2.25%), cotton yarn/fabrics (-13.84%) and petroleum products (-0.16%).
Overall, imports grew by 3.62% to $39.45 billion.
During April-October period of the current fiscal, the country's exports are up 4.72% to $189.79 billion, while imports are up 1.86% to $273.55 billion.
Trade deficit during the seven month period of 2014-15 stands at $83.75 billion as against $87.31 billion in the same period last fiscal.
Oil imports in October dipped by 19.2% to $12.36 billion. Non-oil imports, however, grew by 18.9% to $27.08 billion.
Import sectors which recorded negative growth in October include transport equipment (-42.37%) and precious and semi-precious stones (-27.11%).