Exports exceed target to top $300 billion for fiscal 2011-12

Exports exceed target to top $300 billion for fiscal 2011-12

India’s exports exceeded the target for fiscal 2011-12 topping $300 billion, but an equally high trade deficit of $185 billion backed by soaring crude oil import bill on which India has little control, spoiled the party.

“The trade deficit is primarily because of the rising crude oil prices. It has topped $120 per barrel. It is beyond us to control or regulate the crude prices in the foreign market,” Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Friday after announcing the provisional trade data.

He, however, took some consolation in the fact that despite the contraction in demand in the India’s traditional markets of Europe and USA, India’s exports for 2011-12 were in excess of $300 billion.

Sharma also said that India is on course to doubling its export target to $500 billion  by 2014 as the diversification of trade in new and emerging markets has worked in India’s favour. But surging imports to $485 billion in the previous year have led to a widened trade deficit and put pressure on current account balance, Sharma said.

He said apart from the crude oil, gold imports of nearly $59 billion too contributed in bloating the trade deficit. This cumulatively has left a soaring current account deficit, which is expected to cross the 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product, the highest since the 1991 balance of payment crisis.

In the three months to end-December, current account deficit widened to 4.3 per cent of the GDP from 4.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

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