Exports rose by 2.29% in November, trade defict at two-year high at $13 billion

NEW DELHI(PTI): Exports rose for the third straight month in November, recording a growth of 2.29%, though the trade deficit shot up to about two-year high of $13 billion mainly due to increase in gold imports. Exports of engineering products rose by 14.10%, petroleum by 5.73% and chemicals by 8.3% compared to the same month last year, according to official data released on Thursday.

Imports too increased by 10.44% to $33 billion. Rise in gold imports by 23.24% to $4.36 billion in November pushed the trade deficit to a two-year high of $13 billion as against $10.33 billion in the same month last year. It was in November 2014 when trade deficit hit a high of $16.86 billion. Exporters body FIEO said that although growth is encouraging, uncertain global conditions still remains a challenge. “Though the sentiment still remains low in the global market, factors like US Fed rate hike and demonetization have also in some way added to the woes of the exporters which may be seen in the figures of coming months,” FIEO President S C Ralhan said.

The country’s merchandise exports during April-November period of the current fiscal too recorded a growth of 0.10% to $174.92 billion. Imports, however, contracted by 8.44% to $241.1 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $66.17 billion as against $88.57 in April-November 2015-16. Oil imports last month grew by 5.89% to $6.83 billion. Non-oil imports rose by 11.7% to $26.18 billion. Since December 2014, exports fell for 18 consecutive months till May 2016. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year, but again slipped in July and August. Exports started recording positive growth from September.