The country's exports grew by 26.82 per cent in November 2007 to $12.42 billion, down from the previous month's 35 per cent growth as a persistently rising rupee eroded margins. Imports during the month were valued at $19.83 billion representing an increase of 29.26 per cent over the level of imports valued at $ 15.34 billion in November 2006. In rupee terms, imports increased by 13.66 per cent.
The cumulative value of imports for the period April-November 2007 was $151.19 billion (Rs 6,12,356.61 crore) as against $119.07 billion (Rs 5,44,674.11 Crore) registering a growth of 26.97 per cent in Dollar terms and 12.43 per cent in rupee terms during the same period last year.
On a cumulative basis, exports grew by 22.08 during the April to November period reaching a level of $98.38 billion as against $80.59 billion in the corresponding period of last year. Cumulative imports during the first eight months of the current financial year stood at $151.19 billion, growing by 26.9 per cent from $119.07 billion in the same period last year.
Oil imports during November were valued at $5.82 billion, representing a growth of 16.72 per cent higher than the $4.98 billion in November 2006. Non-oil imports during the month grew by 35.3 per cent to $14 billion, as against $10.35 billion. Trade deficit for April-November 2007 stood at $52.8 billion compared with a $38.48 billion deficit in 2006.
The sharp appreciation of the rupee over the last several months has put pressure on the exports sector, particularly those with low import intensity such as leather, textiles and handicrafts.
The textile industry and the handicraft sector have been the hardest hit registering cumulative negative growth since April this year. Federation of India Export Organisation president Ganesh Gupta warned that unless drastic steps are taken to arrest the slide, about 80 lakh people could end up losing their jobs.
Handicrafts exports, where thousands of small exporters are engaged clocked negative growth of over 70 per cent in April and May, 2007. The rupee has surged against the dollar by 15.1 per cent since October 2006.
The government has set a $160-billion export target for 2007-08.