The commerce ministry on March 9 reported a growth of 4.3 percent in India's exports for February at USD24.6 billion on a year-on-year basis, while imports for the last month were higher by 20.6 percent at USD39.8 billion.
According to official data released in New Delhi, the country had a trade deficit of USD15.2 billion for the month under review. Rupee depreciation, higher cost of crude oil imports and falling demand in major markets like the US and Europe have caused the trade deficit to widen in the last couple of months.
Data showed that exports in the period between April and February 2011-12 grew by 21.4 percent at USD267.4 billion. Imports during the period under review were higher by 29.4 percent at USD434.2 billion. The trade deficit between April 2011 and February 2012 stood at $166.8 billion.
Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters in New Delhi that exports for the current fiscal could be around USD292-298 billion, while imports can be around USD470-475 billion with a trade deficit of around USD175-180 billion. Trade deficit stood at $104 billion in 2010-11. "We are getting a growth rate of 20 percent (exports). It looks like you'll get around USD300 billion (by the end of 2011-12)," Khullar said. He added that the trade deficit has jumped in the last few months.