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Exports up 41 pc in July

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`India will soon achieve export volume worth $150 billion'

Our Bureau

Rising economy

Salutary export

growth due to better performance by important traditional export items

Problems encountered

in talks to work out tariff concessions on FTA with ASEAN

Due to

high export and import growth rates, the trade deficit may increase

New Delhi, Aug. 18

Continuing its rising trend noticeable in the initial months, the country's exports notched up a 41 per cent growth in July 2006 at $10.2 billion, while cumulatively exports during the first four months of the current fiscal grew by 34 per cent to $38 billion.

Provisional figures for the latest trends in exports and imports released by the Union Commerce & Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, at a news conference here show that merchandise exports during July 2006 are estimated at $10,176.80 million against $7,234.41 million during July 2005.

Rapid growth

Cumulatively, exports during April-July 2006 are estimated at $37,707.60 million, which is 34.03 per cent higher than the level of $28,134.72 million during the corresponding months of 2005. Officials said that the consistently salutary export growth during the first four months of the current fiscal owed itself largely to improved performance by important traditional export items like gems and jewellery, chemicals and related products and engineering goods and textile products.

However, the Commerce Minister, in response to a query about sustaining the scorching pace of export growth, stated, "We have had a difficult time in August because of inclement climate. But we hope to make up in the coming months and meet our export target for the rest of the year". He also indicated that India would accomplish export volume worth $150 billion much before the target date of 2008-09 as spelt out in the new foreign trade policy announced in 2004 by the UPA Government.

In reply to another query, he said that there were some problems in negotiations to work out tariff concessions on free trade area (FTA) with ASEAN. He said that he would be attending the trade ministers meeting of ASEAN next week and expressed the hope that the FTA would be wrapped up before the end of the calendar year.

Oil imports swell

Imports during July 2006 are valued at $14,143.06 million showing an increase of 42.8 per cent over the level of $9,904.22 million in July 2005. Cumulatively, imports during April-July 2006 are estimated at $54,424.34 million, which is 29.24 per cent higher than the level of $4,2109.47 million during April-July 2005.

Oil imports during July are valued at $4,642.31 million, which is 33 per cent higher than such imports valued at $3,494.80 million in the corresponding month of 2005. Oil imports during April-July 2006 are valued at $18,533.53 million, which is 43.23 per cent higher than such imports valued at $12,940.14 million in the corresponding period last year. The spurt in import value owed more to the steep rise in imported crude cost than any flare-up in domestic consumption of the fuel, officials said.

High trade deficit

Non-oil imports during July 2006 are estimated at $9,500.75 million, which is 20.42 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $7,889.81 million in July 2005, while cumulatively non-oil imports amounted to $35,890.81 million during April-July 2006, against $32,658.61 million in the corresponding four months of 2005.

Consequent to the high export and import growth rates, the trade deficit during April-July 2006 is estimated at $16,716.74 million, which is higher than the deficit of $13,974.75 million during April-July 2005, an official statement said.

Related Stories:
Exports post 29.6 pc growth in May
Exports rise 40.17 pc in June
Exports touch $102 b in fiscal 2005-06

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 19, 2006)
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