December 2010 trade data

India’s imports declined for the first time in nine months, falling 11% to $25.1 billion in December 2010, compared to $28.3 billion a year ago. But there was some good news on the export front. Shipments out of India rose at their fastest pace in nearly 33 months. Exports grew 36.4% in December to $22.5 billion on the back of strong performances by engineering goods, gems and jewellery, leather and other products. Although this helped lower the trade deficit to $2.6 billion, the lowest level in three years, this is not good news for the local industry as imports consist of raw materials and inputs that are used for manufacturing. Data released by the commerce ministry showed exports rose 29.5% during April-Dec to $164.71 billion, while imports stood at $246.72 billion, rising 19% from the same year-ago period. The trade deficit in the April-Dec stood at $82 billion, which was higher than $80 billion recorded in April-Dec 2009. The strong export performance comes against the backdrop of fragile economic recovery in some developed markets.

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