India's exports fell by 21.7 per cent in February, the lowest in 13 years, owing to a continued lack of demand for goods in the West - most of which is battling recession.The country's imports too dipped by 23.3 per cent during the month under review, making it the second consecutive fall, official data released on Wednesday showed.
Exports dipped to $11.91 billion in February from $15.22 billion in the corresponding period last year. Imports declined to $16.82 billion from $21.93 billion, which as a result narrowed the trade deficit to $4.91 billion from $6.1 billion January."We expect that the total exports in 2008-09 would touch $167-168 billion. In 2009-10, we expect the exports growth rate would be 5 per cent and would touch $175 billion against the target of $200 billion," Federation of Indian Export Organisations President A Sakthivel said.
Even in rupee terms, both exports and imports showed contraction during the month. Exports dipped 3 per cent to Rs 58,685 crore from Rs 60,476 crore in February 2007, while imports shrunk by 4.9 per cent to Rs 82,872 crore.The WTO has said the world trade is likely to shrink by 9 per cent in 2009. The Planning Commission, in a report, has said India's export growth could be as low as 3 per cent in 2009-10.