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Exports increase by 23.2% in September

New Delhi: India's exports grew by 23.2% in September, recording a two-year high of $18.02 billion, while faster import growth raised concerns over the country's widening trade gap, reports PTI.

The country's merchandise exports in September 2009 stood at $14.6 billion.

During the April-September 2010-11 period, exports increased by 28% to $103.64 billion compared to the same period previous fiscal, according to an official data released here today.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma recently said, "The country is on track to surpass the export target of $200 billion for the current fiscal."

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that the council is confident about achieving the export target for 2010-11 as the growth has been good.

However, imports grew even faster, by 26.1% to $27.14 billion in September.

Import in the first half of the current fiscal stood at $166.4 billion, an increase of 29.9% year-on-year, translating into a massive trade gap of $62.83 billion during April-September 2010-11 period.

The trade deficit in September was $9.11 billion.

However, this was lower than the $13 billion deficit in August.

"We still need to be concerned about the balance of trade deficit," commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had said.

FIEO president A Sakthivel said that widening of the trade gap is worrisome. But, it also shows that the manufacturing sector is doing well.

Oil imports rose by 14.4% to $7.49 billion in September and non-oil imports increased by 31.2% to $19.6 billion.

During the April-September period of the current fiscal, oil imports increased by 30% year-on-year to $48.71 billion and non-oil imports grew by 29.9% to $117.76 billion.

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