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Exports growth at 21% in Oct; outpaces imports first time in 3 yrs

New Delhi: India’s merchandise exports rose by 21.3% to $18 billion in October over the corresponding period a year ago, raising hope that the country may be able to achieve the $200 billion target set for the current fiscal year.

Imports during the period grew by 6.8% to $27.68 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $9.72 billion, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce issued today, reports PTI. The export target of $200 billion was announced in the Foreign Trade Policy in August last year.

The rate of expansion in exports has outpaced the growth of imports growth for the first time in the past three-four years. Exports in October last year were valued at $14.8 billion, whereas imports totalled $25.9 billion.

The growth in overseas shipments is attributed to improved demand in the US and the European Union, and an increase in exports to African and Latin American countries. The country is likely to close the year with an import-export gap of about $125 billion, according to a commerce ministry official.

For the first seven months (from April to October) too, exports grew at a faster pace of 26.8% to $121.3 billion against a 26% growth in imports to $194.1 billion. All big-ticket items like engineering goods, gems and jewellery, chemicals and petroleum products registered positive growth in this period. But exports of tea, tobacco, cashew and handicrafts declined.

Oil imports and non-oil imports in October grew by 0.3% to $8.41 billion and by 9.9% to $19.27 billion, respectively. In the period April to October this year, oil and non-oil imports grew by 24.6% to $57.12 billion and by 26.7% to $137.04 billion, respectively.

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