New Delhi: Maintaining a robust trend despite a slowdown in the US and Europe, India’s exports registered a robust annual growth of 36.3% to $24.8 billion in September.
Total exports for the current fiscal may reach “striking range” of $290-300 billion, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said on Wednesday while releasing the provisional data.
Though down from the 44.2% growth recorded in August, the rise in exports in September can be considered robust, given the economic woes in the US and the debt crisis in Europe. The US and Europe are the two biggest markets for Indian merchandise, accounting for about 30% of total shipments.
Imports in September grew by 17.2% to $34.6 billion vis-a-vis the same period last year, leaving a trade deficit of $9.8 billion.
During the April-September period, India’s exports grew by 52.1% to $160 billion.
“Good news is that exports continue to grow over last year, but the heady numbers have gone, it is clear there is deceleration,” he told reporters here.
During the first half of this fiscal, the sectors which registered healthy growth include engineering (103%), petroleum and oil lubricants (PoL) (53%), gems and jewellery (23%), ready-made garments (32%), marine products (48%) and drugs (33%).
Khullar said that India’s exports are growing in new markets like Africa, Latin America and Asia, which has helped India maintain the export growth momentum.
During the period, imports expanded by 32.4% to $233.5 billion. The trade gap stood at $73.5 billion.
Apex exporters body Fieo said the trade deficit number is huge and may touch $150 billion by the end of 2011-12, “which is a matter of concern”.