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November exports up 2.29%... but trade deficit gallops to 2-year high

 PTI |  2016-12-16 23:33:44.0  |  New Delhi

November exports up 2.29%... but trade deficit gallops to 2-year high

Exports rose for the third straight month in November, recording a growth of 2.29 per cent, though the trade deficit shot up to about two-year high of USD 13 billion mainly due to increase in gold imports.

Exports of engineering products rose by 14.10 per cent, petroleum by 5.73 cent and chemicals by 8.3 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to official data released today.

Imports too increased by 10.44 per cent to USD 33 billion.

Rise in gold imports by 23.24 per cent to USD 4.36 billion in November pushed the trade deficit to a two-year high of USD 13 billion as against USD 10.33 billion in the same month last year.

It was in November 2014 when trade deficit hit a high of USD 16.86 billion.

Exporters body FIEO said that although growth is encouraging, uncertain global conditions still remains a challenge.

“Though the sentiment still remains low in the global market, factors like US Fed rate hike and demonetisation have also in some way added to the woes of the exporters which may be seen in the figures of coming months,” FIEO President S C Ralhan said.

The country’s merchandise exports during April-November period of the current fiscal too recorded a growth of 0.10 per cent to USD 174.92 billion.

Imports, however, contracted by 8.44 per cent to USD 241.1 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 66.17 billion as against USD 88.57 in April-November 2015-16.

Oil imports last month grew by 5.89 per cent to USD 6.83 billion. Non-oil imports rose by 11.7 per cent to USD 26.18 billion. Since December 2014, exports fell for 18 consecutive months till May 2016. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year, but again slipped in July and August. Exports started recording positive growth from September.

Gold imports increase 23.24% to $4.36 billion

Gold imports grew for the second consecutive month in Nov by 23.24 per cent to USD 4.36 billion on account of fall in prices. Gold imports were worth USD 3.54 billion in Nov last year, the official data released on Thursday showed. 

Imports of the precious metal were on a decline since February this year till September. It recorded positive growth in October.The increase in gold imports, however, pushed the trade deficit to about two-year high of USD 13 billion in November from USD 10.33 billion during the same month last year. The imports mainly take care of demand of jewellery industry. 

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