India’s trade deficit narrowed to an 11-month low of $8.3 billion in January 2015 due to the sharpest contraction in imports since May last year, helped by easing global oil prices. Trade deficit in the April-January period of this fiscal stood at $118 billion.
Exports sharply contracted 11.19% in January to $23.8 billion, while imports declined 11.39% to $32.2 billion, official data released by the commerce ministry showed on Friday.
A steep fall in the price of global crude primarily led to contraction of imports, apart from a lack of pick up in demand for other items. The oil import bill fell by a steep 37.46% in January to $8.24 billion. Non-oil imports grew just 3.45% in January to $23.9 billion and 7.84% in April-January to $258.6 billion.
So far this fiscal, the value of oil imports declined by 7.87% to $124.7 billion compared to what the country paid for the fuel in the same period a year ago.
Gold imports grew 8.13% in January to $1.55 billion. Export of cotton yarn, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and gems and jewellery, tea, coffee, rice, tobacco and spices contracted in the month under review.
Exports, however, showed 2.4% growth in April-January of this fiscal to $265 billion due to the growth recorded in the first half of the fiscal. Imports too grew 2.17% in the first ten months of the fiscal to $383.4 billion.