Exports Dip 15% in Dec

India's merchandise exports contracted for the thirteenth consecutive month in December, falling 14.75% from a year ago. A sharp 179% rise in gold imports in the month widened the trade deficit to a four-month high of $11.66 billion compared with $9.8 billion in November. Imports fell 3.88% from a year earlier to $33.96 billion.
Exports fell in 15 out of 30 segments including iron ore, gems and jewellery, and engineering goods.
The poor performance of merchandise exports this year had been cushioned by services exports and low oil import bill. Services trade data comes with a lag of one month.
Services exports fell 3.63% on year in November at $12.01 billion but the services trade balance has been stable.
Oil imports during December, 2015 were down 33.19% on year at $6.65 billion while non-oil imports were up 7.63% on year at $ 27.4 billion.
In 2014-15, India's total exports were $310.5 billion.
However, allaying industry' fears of job losses, she said employment oriented sectors have continued to be robust even in adverse global situation and that loss of jobs is not a corollary to fall in exports.
Slow global demand and rising volatility in currency markets including the devaluation of the yuan have hit Indian exports on which the Secretary said that though the yuan's devaluation does affect competitiveness of India's exports, but India is not head to head competing with most of Chinese merchandise exports.
Gold prices in the international market have fallen to a five-year low fuelling a rise in imports of the yellow metal and hence, widening of the trade gap to a four month high.

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