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April exports up 1.6 pc; trade deficit widens to $17.8 bn

The country's exports in April grew by modest 1.68 percent, but imports were up by 10.9 percent year-on-year, as a result, the trade deficit widened in the month of April to USD 17.8 billion as compared to USD 14 billion, up 27.1 percent year-on-year.

"Exports during April, 2013 were valued at USD 24.16 billion, which was 1.68 percent higher than the level of USD 23.76 billion during April, 2012. While imports during April, 2013 were valued at USD 41.95 billion representing a growth of 10.96 percent over the level of imports valued at USD 37.80 billion in April, 2012," said the exports data released Monday.

"The trade deficit for April, 2013 was estimated at USD 17.78 billion, which was higher than the deficit of USD 14.04 billion during April, 2012," it added. 

Commenting on the rise, Commerce Secretary, SR Rao said, "Gold imports are up substantially in April compared to March."

"We are concerned about the growing trade deficit and the Government will come up with steps on how to contain it," he added.

Gold and silver imports were up by 138 percent to USD 7.5 billion last month compared to a year earlier.

According to the data release, the oil imports during April, 2013 were valued at USD 14.08 billion which was 3.92 percent higher than oil imports valued at USD 13.55 billion in the corresponding period last year. 

Similarly the non-oil imports during April, 2013 were estimated at USD 27.86 billion, which was 14.90 percent higher than non-oil imports of USD 24.25 billion in April, 2012.

"Government has set an export target of USD 325 billion for the year 2013-14," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari earlier said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The government had set USD 360 billion export target for 2012-13.