Contracting for the second month in a row, India's exports dipped 0.3 per cent to USD 21.51 billion owing to decline in shipments of products like petroleum and leather.The outward shipments stood at USD 21.58 billion in August 2015.
The country's imports too contracted by 14 per cent to USD 29.91 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 7.67 billion in August, which is the lowest figure in three months.
The trade gap narrowed in August this year from USD 12.4 billion in the same month last year, according to the data released by the Commerce Ministry.
The main export sectors that recorded negative growth in the month include petroleum (14 per cent), leather (7.82 per cent) and chemicals (5 per cent).
Reacting to data, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said the decline has largely been arrested and now "we can look for positive growth from October onwards".
It would help in taking the shipments to around USD 280 billion in 2016-17, the FIEO said in a statement.
Cumulatively, exports during April-August 2016 contracted by 2.98 per cent to USD 108.52 billion. Imports during the period too dipped by 15.89 per cent to USD 143.18 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 34.67 billion.
Further, fall in gold imports too helped in bridging the trade gap. The precious metal imports dipped by 77.45 per cent to USD 1.11 billion in August 2016.
Oil imports during the month fell by 8.47 per cent to USD 6.74 billion.
Non oil imports dip 15.65 per cent to USD 22.44 billion in August this year.
Exports were in negative zone between December 2014 and May 2016 due to weak global demand and slide in oil prices. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year thereafter again entered into negative zone in July.