Contracting for the 11th month in a row, India’s merchandise exports fell 17.53 per cent in October to USD 21.35 billion, mainly due to a steep fall in shipments of petroleum products, iron ore and engineering, amid a broader demand slowdown.
The imports too shrank an annual 21.15 per cent to USD 31.12 billion in October, narrowing the trade gap to USD 9.76 billion, from USD 13.57 billion in the same month last year.
Exports in October 2014 were valued at USD 25.89 billion.
Gold imports during the month under review showed a sharp decline of 59.5 per cent at USD 1.70 billion.
The cumulative exports during April-October this fiscal came down by 17.62 per cent to USD 154.29 billion as against USD 187.2 billion in the same period last year, according to data released by the Commerce Ministry.
The trade deficit during the first seven months of the current fiscal has shrunk to USD 77.76 billion as against USD 86.26 billion last fiscal.
Oil and non-oil imports in October slid 45.31 per cent and 9.93 per cent to USD 6.84 billion and USD 24.2 billion, respectively.
On the export front, shipments of petroleum products tumbled 57 per cent to USD 2.46 billion while those of iron ore sharply declined by 85.53 per cent to USD 2.95 million.
Engineering products were no exception, shipments of which took a knock of 11.65 per cent at USD 4.57 billion.
In September, the country’s exports went down 24.33 per cent.