The current fiscal year has started on a sour note for India's merchandise exports sector with the value of such shipments down 33.2 per cent at $10.74 billion in April against $16.08 billion in the same month of the previous fiscal.
Imports, too, fell 36.6 per cent to $15.75 billion in April from $24.82 billion in the like month of last year, according to official data on external trade released by the commerce and industry ministry on Monday.
The statistics further revealed that oil imports in April were valued at $3.63 billion, which was 58.5 per cent lower than the $8.75 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports also fell 24.6 per cent to $12.113 billion from $16.074 billion.
Accordingly, the trade deficit for April, 2009 stood at $5 billion as against $8.75 billion during the like month of the previous fiscal.
India had set an export target of $200 billion for the previous fiscal that was revised lower to $175 billion subsequently due to the global slowdown. But the industry could manage just $164 billion worth of exports.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who took charge of his portfolio last week, has said India will maintain the level of its merchandise exports at around $160 billion this fiscal.