On the back of global slowdown, India’s exports continued to slip for the 15th month in a row by falling 5.66% in February to $20.73 billion.
Imports, too, dipped 5.03% to $27.28 billion, leaving the trade deficit to near five-year low of $6.54 billion.
The trade deficit-difference between imports and exports - is the lowest since March 2011 when it was $5.6 billion.
Poor performers continued to be engineering goods as well as petroleum products. Outward shipments of petroleum products shrank 28.27% to $1.83 billion, while that of engineering goods fell by 11.22% to $4.56 billion.
Expressing concerns, apex exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that “going by the trend, exports are expected to be around $260 billion” in this fiscal.
Engineering exports body EEPC Chairman T S Bhasin said that even as the rate of decline of exports has come down, as compared to previous months, it has to been seen in the context of a low base. “The situation in the engineering exports remains worrisome with over 11% drop in February which again is on a low base,” Bhasin added.
On a cumulative basis, exports during April-February declined by 16.73% to $238.41 billion, as against $286.3 billion in the same period last year. Imports dipped by 14.74% to $351.8 billion in the 11-month period. The trade deficit for April-February stood at $113.38 billion against $126.29 billion in the same period last year.