EXPORTS RISE 20% IN JAN, IMPORTS JUMP A WHOPPING 64%

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Exports from the country continued to grow at a steady pace in 2008. Outbound shipments rose 20.47% to $13.14 billion in January, compared to $10.9 billion in January 2007. Cumulative value of exports for April-January of FY08 stood at $124.19 billion, against $102.11 billion in the year-ago period—a growth of 21.62%.

Imports grew much faster at 63.57% to $22.5 billion in January 2008, compared to $13.75 billion in January 2007. During April-January of FY08, imports grew 29.63% to $191.6 billion.
 
While exports have almost touched last year’s annual figure of $125 billion, officials are not quite sure if the target of $160 billion set for this fiscal would be reached. “We would be at least close to the target,” an official said. Exports have not performed well in FY08 due to a 12% appreciation in the value of the rupee, which has affected competitiveness. Labour intensive sectors like textile, leather, handicraft and marine products have been hit the most.

Oil imports during January 2008 were valued at $7.71 billion, which is 60.81% higher than the imports of $4.79 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April-January of FY08 were at $57.02 billion, which was 16.49% higher than the imports of $48.95 billion in the corresponding period last fiscal.

Non-oil imports during January 2008 were estimated at $14.79 billion, which was 65.05% higher than non-oil imports of $8.96 billion in January 2007. Non-oil imports during April-January of FY08 were at $134.58 billion, which was 36.13% higher than the imports of $98.86 billion in April-January FY07.

The trade deficit for April-January of FY08 was estimated at $67.41 billion, which was higher than the deficit of $45.70 billion during April- January of FY07.

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