New Delhi: India’s exports showed a robust annual growth of 34.4% to $23.9 billion in April, but exporters are not sure whether the trend can be sustained in the wake of uncertainties in the global markets.
Imports grew at a lesser pace of 14.1% to $32.8 billion in April this year, according to the provisional data released by the commerce ministry on Wednesday.
Also Read | India’s foreign trade: April 2011 (PDF)
Trade deficit for the opening month of the current fiscal narrowed to $8.9 billion from $11 billion a year ago.
According to data released earlier by commerce secretary Rahul Khullar, the April export growth was led by engineering consignments which went up by 109% to $6.8 billion.
Export of petroleum products grew by 53% to $4.3 billion and gems and jewellery by 39% to $2.9 billion. Readymade garments clocked in an expansion of 12.7% with consignments worth $1.1 billion.
The rise in export value is also attributed to increase in the cost of production, thanks to inflationary pressures.
“Once the prices of the raw material stabilize, it may have an impact on India’s exports growth,” director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) Ajay Sahai said.
He pegged the export growth for the entire fiscal at about 11% with the total shipments going up to $275 billion from $246 billion in 2010-11.
Uncertainty in Europe and not-too encouraging data about the US economy remain areas of concern, Khullar had said.
“The US and European markets are still weak... there is demand in the new markets, but it will take time and we need government support,” chairman of the CII National Committee on Exports Sanjay Budhia said.
CRISIL chief economist D. K. Joshi said the exports growth momentum of 30-35% cannot be sustained and there would be moderation in the months to come.
Though the April growth is lower than 44% growth in March, it was because the consignments generally peak in the last quarter of the financial year.
“Exports in the next few months will grow in a decent number, though they may not be as high as (seen in the past few months),” Standard Chartered Research Head Samiran Chakraborty said.