After contracting for eight straight months, India's exports grew by a meagre 0.82 per cent in January to USD 25.58 billion. Imports rose by 6.12 per cent to USD 45.5 billion in the month under review, widening the trade deficit to USD 20 billion.
Exports had stood at USD 25.37 billion in January, 2012.
However, during the April-January period of 2012-13, the country's overseas shipments shrunk by 4.86 per cent to USD 239.6 billion.
Imports during the period rose by 0.01 per cent to USD 406.8 billion. Trade deficit during the 10-month period stood at USD 167.16 billion.
"Widening trade deficit is a cause of concern," Commerce Secretary S R Rao said, adding that crude oil imports are growing at a higher rate.
Oil imports in January grew by 6.91 per cent to USD 15.89 billion from USD 14.87 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports, too, increased by 5.71 per cent during the month under review to USD 29.68 billion.
India's exports rose an annual 0.8 percent in January and imports for the month rose 6 percent, leaving a trade deficit of $20 billion, a senior trade ministry official said on Wednesday.
(Reuters) Exports between April and January fell 4.9 percent to $239.7 billion.
India's exports have fallen since last year as demand slowed from major sales destinations, adding to the country's economic gloom and heightening worries about its trade and current account deficits.