New Delhi: India began fiscal 2008-09 with an impressive 31.5% growth in exports, but the surge in oil prices pushed the import expansion to 36.6% in April.
Exports grew to $14.4 billion in April 2008-09, against $10.95 billion a year ago.
Imports, fueled by a big rise in purchase of crude oil from abroad, went up to $24.27 billion against $17.76 billion.
Trade deficit widened to $9.87 billion in the opening month of the current fiscal against $6.81 billion in the same period last year.
Oil imports amounted to $8.02 billion, up 46.2% over the same month last year.
The export performance in April was seen as commendable in the backdrop of the impact of strong rupee on exporters’ margins in 2007-08 when the overall growth was limited to 23.02%.
While the rupee started losing ground since May, the positive impact on imports could be seen in the next few months.