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India's trade deficit narrows to 17-month low
Mar 16, 2015

India’s trade deficit narrowed to a 17-month low of $6.85 billion in February on an over 55 per cent decline in oil imports. The deficit in February 2014 was $8.3 billion.

Falling for the third straight month, exports fell 15.02 per cent to $21.54 billion, extending January’s 11.12 per cent decline, according to official data released on Friday. During the 11-months period April 2014 to February 2015, India’s exports were $286.58 billion, significantly short of the Centre’s full-year target of $340 billion.
The bad exports performance was despite the 2 per cent drop in the value of the rupee since February 1, indicating exporters might be failing to take advantage of the increase in the currency’s competitiveness.
Overall imports fell 15.66 per cent to $28.39 billion. Oil imports were down over 55 per cent to $6.1 billion on the back of an over 50 per cent slide in global crude oil prices. Gold imports, though, rose 48 per cent to $1.98 billion in February.
Expressing his disappointment over the trade data for the month of February, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President M. Rafeeque Ahmed attributed the ‘dismal performance’ to the contraction in global demand, lowering of prices of metal and commodities as well as volatility in currencies. He said that the continuous double-digit decline in exports both in January and February increased apprehensions about reaching the $ 320 billion exports target set for 2014-15. “What is more worrying is the fact that decline in February, 2015 is on a low base as exports also declined in February, 2014,” he said.

The Hindu