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June exports up 10% but gold imports spoil trade deficit fun

India's exports growth remained in double digit for the second month in a row in June at 10.22 per cent but spurt in gold imports marginally pushed the trade deficit to $11.76 billion. 

Sectors that helped in pushing exports in June include textiles (14.39 per cent), petroleum products (38.3 per cent), engineering (21.57 per cent), leather (15 per cent), marine products (27.49 per cent), oil seeds (44.4 per cent) and tobacco (31 per cent). Exports in June stood at USD 26.47 billion as compared to $24.02 billion in the same month last year.

According to exporters body Fieo, outbound shipments have registered double digit growth on account of improvement in the global demand. ‘Demand is improving in advanced as well as in emerging markets. The figure is encouraging and we expect it to continue. This fiscal exports will be better than the previous fiscal,’ Fieo President Rafeeq Ahmed said.

Cumulatively, in the April-June period too, exports grew by 9.31 per cent to USD 80.11 billion. 

However, the growth in exports during the month under review was low as compared to May when it recorded a growth of 12.4 per cent. Trade deficit too was marginally higher in June as against $11.23 billion in May and $11.28 billion in June 2013. 

After registering a negative growth since October last year, gold imports in June jumped 65.13 per cent to $3.12 billion from $1.88 billion during the same month last year. In October 2013, gold imports stood at $1.3 billion, registering a growth of 62.5 per cent.

Imports in June, too, increased by 8.33 per cent year-on-year to $38.24 billion, according to the Commerce Ministry data. Imports, however, dipped by 6.92 per cent to $113.19 billion during the first three months of this financial year. 

The trade deficit during the period stood at $33.08 billion, lower then $48.32 billion in April-June 2013-14. Oil imports increased by 10.9 per cent in June to $13.34 billion. Non-oil imports during the month under review were up by 7 per cent to $24.9 billion.

Import sectors which grew at a healthy rate are vegetable oil (21.3 per cent), coal & coke (5.5 per cent), chemicals (18.78 per cent), iron & steel (18.24 per cent) and electronic goods (8 per cent). 

Sectors which saw negative growth are pearls, precious & semi-precious stones (2.2 per cent), silver (53.3 per cent), project goods (40.39 per cent), transport equipment (10.86 per cent), machine tools (7.39 per cent) and cotton (45.34 per cent).

Export sectors which recorded negative growth rate include tea (13.78 per cent), coffee (8.75 per cent), oil meals (48.2 per cent), iron ore (66 per cent) and electronic goods (24.5 per cent). For the first time, the Commerce Ministry has also released data of services exports, which stood at $13.9 billion May 2014; while imports were USD 8.027 billion.

Meanwhile, replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that exports, adversely affected by global financial crisis and economic slowdown, are slowly indicating signs or revival. In 2011-12 India's exports stood at $300.6 billion which dipped to $300.4 billion in 2012-13. In 2013-14, it aggregated $313.5 billion, she said.
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