New Delhi: India’s exports continued to fall like there was no bottom, dipping by 29.2% in May, and raised hopes for sops in the budget in the absence of any sign of recovery.
Government data released today showed that exports shrank for the eighth month in a row to $11.01 billion from $15.55 billion in May 2008 — an indication that there was no demand in the recession-hit global economies.
Imports too dropped by 39.2% for the fifth consecutive month to $16.21 billion in May, helping halve the trade deficit in the month to $5.20 billion.
“Of course, it (continuous fall in exports) is a matter of concern... (overall) there are no signs of revival in the exports demand yet,” commerce secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters in Delhi.
“...I expect more sops for exporters in the budget,” Khullar said, adding that the silver lining was that trade in gems and jewellery was picking up.
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“It is not surprising (decline in exports)... this reflects recession in global economies,” chief economist of rating agency CRISIL Subir Gokarn said.
The commerce secretary also said that some exporters have raised concern over rising rupee due to inflow of foreign funds. The domestic currency appreciated by about 23% in 2008.
Oil imports during May 2009 plunged by 60.6% to $4.13 billion from $10.49 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year. Non-oil imports during the month declined by 25.4% to $12.07 billion from $16.18 billion.
Imports during the first two months of the current fiscal were $31.95 billion against $51.50 billion.
The trade deficit during April-May 2009-10 was $10.20 billion against $19.88 billion.
During April-May 2009-10, oil and non-oil imports dipped to $7.76 billion and $24.19 billion, respectively. Oil and non-oil imports in April-May 2008-09 were $19.24 billion and $32.26 billion, respectively.
Overseas shipments grew by a meagre 3.4% to $168.7 billion in 2008-09 after the global slowdown began to pinch in the second half of the previous fiscal.