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Export growth slumps

New Delhi, March 1 (PTI): A month after registering a record growth, exports in January slumped to 9.19 per cent even though cumulative growth for the period April-January clocked a healthy 17.38 per cent.

As per preliminary trade data released by the commerce ministry, exports during the first month of the calender year were valued at $ 4.64 billion compared with $ 4.25 billion in the corresponding month a year earlier.

While exports in January slumped from a high of over 34 per cent registered in December, imports during the month surged by 24.45 per cent, increasing the trade deficit to $ 636.49 million as against a trade surplus of 10.20 million in January 2002.

Imports during January, 2003, were valued at $ 5.28 billion, a 24.45 per cent increase over the level of $ 4.24 billion in January last year, an official release said adding the increase in imports in rupee terms during the month was 23.44 per cent.

Oil imports during the period April-January this fiscal were valued at $ 14.34 billion which is 22.02 per cent higher than the oil imports valued at $ 11.76 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

Non-oil imports during the first ten months of the fiscal registered close to 14 per cent increase at $ 34.98 billion against $ 30.79 billion in April-January 2001-02, the release said.

Notwithstanding the surge in imports, government is expected to easily attain the 12 per cent export target for the current fiscal with the cumulative export growth clocking a healthy 17.38 per cent growth during April-January.

Cumulative exports in value terms was pegged at $ 42.16 billion, compared with $ 35.92 billion in the year ago period.

Rise in imports is, however, expected to reflect on the trade deficit. Cumulative trade deficit during the period April-January has been estimated at $ 7.12 billion, which is higher than the $ 6.63 billion during April-January 2001-02.

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