Exports grew at 18.52 per cent in July this year, despite the appreciating rupee hitting exporters’ margins. Exports during the month were valued at $12.49 billion, higher than the $10.54 billion recorded in the same month last year. Imports recorded a 20.40 per cent jump to reach $17.50 billion against $14.54 billion in July last year.
“The export growth of over 18 per cent shows resilience of our exporters who are able to compete in the world market against all odds,” Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said. He also expressed confidence that despite a slowdown, the export target of $160 billion for the current fiscal would be met.
During the four-month period of April-July, exports went up by 18.22 per cent to $46.79 billion from $ 39.58 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Cumulative imports during the period was valued at $72.41 billion against $55.42 billion during the same period last year.
Oil imports during July stood at $5.04 billion, which was 8.75 per cent higher than $4.64 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year.
Oil imports during April-July were valued at $19.87 billion, which was 5.33 per cent higher than the oil imports of $18.87 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports during July were estimated at $12.46 billion, which was 25.86 per cent higher than growth of non oil imports to $9.89 billion in July 2006.
Non-oil imports during April-July 2007 were valued at $52.53 billion, which was 43.73 per cent higher than $ 36.55 billion during the same period last year.
The trade deficit for the period April to July was estimated at $25.61 billion, which was higher than the deficit at $15.84 billion during the same period last year.
Analysts said further deterioration was likely in the next few months as high oil prices and strong economic growth push up the import bill.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) also said the export performance was “good, given the behaviour of the strengthening rupee.”
The rupee rose nearly 7 per cent against the US dollar during the April-June quarter and is hovering around a nine-year high. The higher rupee also reduces the foreign exchange earnings of exporters since most export earnings are denominated in dollars.
However, the organisation expressed concern over a decline in the growth of traditional exports.
“Exports of labour-intensive sectors like handicraft, textile and leather remain lacklustre and are area of concern,” FIEO President Ganesh K Gupta said.