Trade deficit balloons to $6.2 billion in Oct

New Delhi, Nov 28 | Updated: Nov 29 2006, 05:30am hrs
Indias trade deficit witnessed more than a two-fold increase to touch $6.2 billion in October 2006 from $2.9 billion in October 2005. In September 2006 the trade deficit stood at $5.3 billion.

Releasing its provisional data on Tuesday, the government said the trade deficit for April-October, 2006 was $ 30.2 billion, 20.3% higher than the deficit of $ 25.1 billion (provisionally revised figure) during April-October, 2005.

Exports during this October were $ 9.6 billion compared with $ 8.6 billion in October 2005.

Exports in the first seven months of the current fiscal was $ 69.5 billion against $ 56.9 billion during the same period last year, a growth of 22.1%. The government has increased the export target by 26% to $126 billion by the end of this fiscal. Meanwhile, imports during October 2006 were $15.8 billion, 36.7% higher than $11.5 billion in October 2005. Imports during April-October, 2006 stood at $ 99.7 billion, which was 21.4% higher than imports at $82.1 billion during April-October, 2005.

Crude oil imports were valued at $ 5.3 billion in October 2006 compared with $ 3.4 billion in the corresponding period last year, thus registering growth of 55.35%.

Crude oil imports during April-October 2006 were $ 34 billion, which was 39.45% higher than crude oil imports of $ 24.3 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Non-oil imports were estimated at $10.48 billion during October 2006, which was 28.92% higher than growth on non-oil imports of $8.1 billion in October 2005.

Non-oil imports in April-October, 2006 stood at $ 65.7 billion, an increase of 13.5% over $ 57.9 billion in April-October 2005. Rajiv Kumar, Director and chief executive of Icrier, said, The trade deficit may be due to oil firms rebuilding inventories, taking advantage of softening of oil prices during the said period. But if you look at the rupee, it has remained strong and even in near future, it is likely to be stable. So the market has discounted this factor. Overall, the situation does not call for any worry.