India’s exports grew by 21.3 % to $18 billion in October compared to the same period last year rekindling hopes that $200 billion target fixed for the current fiscal is likely to be met.
Imports during the month grew by 6.8% to $27.7 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $9.7 billion, latest trade data released on Wednesday by the commerce ministry showed.
Exports of engineering goods, gems and jewellery, chemicals and petroleum products recorded growth in the first seven months of the fiscal, while those of tea, tobacco, cashew and handicraft, declined.
Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar had last month said that exports are likely to surpass the target.
Exporters were optimistic that trade deficit will stay within a comfortable range.
“We are confident that despite the rise in the trade deficit, the situation will stay within manageable limits,” said A Sakthivel, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) on Wednesday.
Oil imports and non-oil imports during October grew by 0.3% to $8.4 billion and 9.9% to $19.3 billion, respectively.
Oil imports during April-October, 2010 were valued at $ 57.1 billion which was 24.6% higher than the oil imports of $ 45.9 billion in the corresponding period last year.
The trade deficit for April - October, 2010 was estimated at $72.8 billion sharply higher than the deficit of $58.3 billion during April -October, 2009.
“We still need to be concerned about the balance of trade deficit,” a government official said.