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Lower imports bring down trade deficit

Thursday, 12 December 2013 - 9:29am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
But sluggish exports a cause for concern.

The country’s measures to control imports, particularly those of gold, continued to pay rich dividends as trade deficit for November 2013 fell by a whopping 46.43% on-year to $9.21 billion from $17.2 billion in the same period last fiscal and $10.56 billion in October.

Imports fell sharply by 16.37% on-year to $33.83 billion, the lowest level since March 2011, as gold and silver imports fell 80% to $1.05 billion from $5.4 billion. Non-oil imports were estimated at $208.68 billion, 23.69% lower than $273.47 billion in November, 2012.

But all is not well with trade: November exports at $24.6 billion weakened due to fall in shipments of gems and jewellery, petroleum products and pharmaceuticals. Export growth fell to 5.86%, much lower than 14% in October.

A $5-7/barrel decline in the petroleum product prices due to Iran-related developments lowered both their exports and imports, SR Rao, commerce secretary, said.

Cumulative trade deficit for April-November stood at $99.90 billion, down 22.69% on-year.

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