New Delhi: Weak demand in western markets weighed on India's export performance, with shipments growing by mere 10.1 percent in January on year-on-year basis to USD 25.4 billion.
However, exports growth rate was a marginally higher than that of December, 2011, when the shipments were up by 6.7 percent.
On the other hand, imports grew at a faster rate of 20.25 percent to USD 40.1 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 14.76 billion, according to the Commerce Ministry data released Thursday.
From a peak of 82 percent in July 2011, export growth has slipped to 44.25 percent in August 2011, 36.36 percent in September 2011 and 10.8 percent in October last year.
For cumulative April-January period, exports aggregated to USD 242.79 billion, showing a healthy growth of 23.47 percent, thanks to sterling trend witnessed in the previous months of the current fiscal.
Imports during the 10-month period stood at USD 391.45 billion, an increase of 29.4 percent. The trade gap aggregated to USD 148.66 billion.
Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has said that the exports and imports may touch about USD 300 billion and USD 460 billion, respectively. The balance of trade would be around USD 160 billion. He has also cautioned that the exporters’ community would face demand problem in 2012-13 as well.
FIEO President Rafeeque Ahmed too said that the figures clearly indicate that 2012 would be a difficult year for exports in view of growing uncertainty in the euro-zone area.
"Exporters would definitely face demand problems in 2012-13," Kush Suri, a leading dry fruit exporter, said.
First Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012, 13:00