November 2010 trade snippets

Robust shipments across sectors and a narrowing trade deficit of $8.9 billion due to a lower rise in imports pumped up November exports to 26.8% at $18.9 billion. With the export momentum on an upswing, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said the export target of $200 billion for the current financial year could be breached. According to provisional data compiled by the commerce department, exports went up by 26.7% to $140.3 billion during April-November, led by strong performances from engineering goods (50% increase to $31.6 billion), gems and jewellery (16% to over $20 billion) and petroleum products (41%). Though export in some of the sector such as readymade garments (3% drop to $700 million), gems and jewellery (24% decline), leather (13% fall) and crude oil (8% decrease) saw a fall during November, Khullar sought to play down any concerns, saying that the numbers for the month might be revised upwards. Besides, he said that in case of petroleum imports, the decline was largely on account of global prices.
Imports during the first eight months of the financial year are estimated to have increased 24% to $222 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $81.7 billion. The trend of exports rising faster than imports for the past couple of months has also prompted the government to lower the trade deficit projection to around $120 billion this fiscal, from $135 billion estimated earlier. Khullar, however, warned that an increase in global crude oil prices could upset calculations. The commerce secretary also acknowledged the possibility of problems in Europe affecting India’s exports. Khullar also said the impact of appreciation in rupee was limited.

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