Lower gold imports narrows down trade deficit to USD 9.92 bn

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New Delhi, Feb 11: Helped by a sharp fall in gold and silver imports, India’s trade deficit declined to USD 9.92 billion in January from USD 18.97 billion recorded in the corresponding month of last year, government data showed Tuesday.

January trade deficit is also lower than the previous month’s figure. The trade gap was at USD 10.14 billion in December.

According to data released here by the ministry of commerce and industry, India’s exports rose by 3.79 per cent to USD 26.75 billion in January this year as compared to $25.78 billion recorded in the corresponding month of previous year.

Imports slumped by 18.07 per cent to USD 36.57 billion in January, led by a 77 per cent drop in gold and silver imports.  Gold and silver imports fell by 77 per cent to USD 1.72 billion in January as compared to USD 7.49 billion recorded in the corresponding month of last year, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters here.

For the first 10 months of the current financial year, imports of gold and silver stood at USD 29 billion as compared to USD 46.7 billion recorded in the corresponding period of last fiscal, registering an year-on-year decline of 37 per cent, Kher said.

Cumulative value of exports for April-January period of fiscal 2013-14 was USD 257.08 billion, as compared to USD 243.19 billion recorded in the same period of last fiscal, registering a growth of 5.71 per cent. Total value of imports for the first 10 months of the current fiscal stood at USD 377.04 billion, as against USD 408.99 billion in the first 10 months 2012-13, registering an year-on-year decline of 7.81 per cent.

The trade deficit for April-January period of the current fiscal narrowed to USD 119.95 billion from USD 165.80 billion recorded in the same period of last year. Oil imports during January this year were valued at USD 13.18 billion, 10.1 per cent lower than oil imports bill of USD 14.66 billion in the same month last year.

Cumulative value of oil imports for April-January period of current fiscal was USD 138.14 billion, 1.2 per cent higher than the oil imports of USD 136.49 billion in the corresponding period last year. Non-oil imports during January, 2014 were estimated at USD 23.48 billion, 22 percent lower than non-oil imports of USD 30.08 billion in the same month of last year.

Cumulative value of non-oil imports during April-January period of current fiscal were USD 238.90 billion, 12.3 per cent lower than the level of such imports valued at USD 272.49 billion in the corresponding month of last year. IANS