Healthy growth in engineering, marine and leather goods shipments pushed export growth to 5-month high of 5.26 per cent in April, while declining gold imports narrowed the trade deficit to USD 10 billion.
The deficit was USD 17.6 billion in April 2013.
Exports in the first month of the current fiscal aggregated at USD 25.63 billion, while imports declined by 15 per cent to USD 35.7 billion.
Oil and non-oil imports in April declined by 0.6 per cent and 21.5 per cent to USD 12.97 billion and 22.74 billion respectively.
Engineering, marine and leather goods exports last month recorded growth of 21.25 per cent, 42.18 per cent and 30.42 per cent respectively. Iron ore exports too grew by 23.43 per cent to USD 152 million.
However, gems & jewellery exports dipped by 8 per cent to USD 3.27 billion. Industry experts said that curbs on gold imports are leading to decline in gems & jewellery exports.
Gold imports last month declined by 74.13 per cent to USD 1.75 billion from USD 6.78 billion in April 2013.
Apex exporters body FIEO said that this year the country’s exports are expected to register double digit growth and that will help keep trade deficit within the manageable limit.
“The target of new Foreign Trade Policy should be to increase export to at least USD 750 billion by 2019. This would require CAGR of 19 per cent per annum and would need major thrust on manufacturing,” it said.
In November, overseas shipments had recorded a growth of 5.86 per cent.
India missed its export target by about USD 13 billion in the last financial year even as the trade deficit for 2013-14 shrank to a three-year low of USD 138.59 billion.
Exports in 2013-14 stood at USD 312.35 billion.
Pharmaceutical and chemical exports grew by 10.4 per cent and 4.13 per cent to USD 1.26 billion and USD 917 million respectively in April.
Electronic and ready-made garment exports too rose by about 4 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively.
However sectors including handicrafts, fruits and vegetables, oil meals, cashew, tobacco, rice, tea and coffee registered negative growth during the month.
On the import side, fertilisers, precious & semi-precious stones, iron & steel, transport equipment, electronic goods and silver posted negative growth.
Silver and electronic item imports dipped by 26.5 per cent and 5.38 per cent respectively.