Dec export growth at six-month low

Export growth eased to a six-month low of 3.49 per cent in December mainly due to a fall in the shipment of petroleum goods.

"It is only one product group which has contributed to (slower growth in exports) and that is petroleum products. There has been an unplanned maintenance shutdown in one of our largest exporters of the country - Reliance Industries," Commerce Secretary S R Rao said on Friday.

India's exports stood at $26.3 billion in December compared with $25.4 billion in the same month of 2012. Petroleum exports, which constitute a substantial portion of the country’s trade basket, declined 16 per cent last month.

However, a 15.25 per cent decline in imports to $36.4 billion, particularly in gold and silver shipments, helped to narrow the trade deficit to $10.1 billion in December. In November, the trade gap was $9.21 billion.

Inward shipments of gold and silver dipped 68.8 per cent to $1.77 billion from $5.6 billion in December last year, higher than $1.05 billion in November.

Oil imports grew 1.1 per cent to $13.89 billion.

Rao said that barring petroleum products, all other sectors such as engineering, textiles and chemicals have shown reasonable healthy growth.

During April-December, exports aggregated $230.3 billion and imports $340.3 billion, while trade deficit was about $110 billion. 

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