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Exports log 33 pc growth in January

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 14

THE country's exports seem to be on a roll with the first three quarters logging 25.55 per cent growth and January 2005 registering a 33.17 per cent growth in dollar terms compared to the corresponding previous periods.

Provisional figures put out by the Commerce Ministry based on data gleaned from the Directorate of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Kolkata, show that India's exports in January 2005 stood at $6,716.15 million, which is 33.17 per cent higher than $5,043.13 million clocked in January 2004.

This is also substantially higher than the meagre 3.99 per cent export growth in January 2004 over January 2003.

Cumulatively too, the country's exports during the April-January period of the current fiscal are valued at $60,754.46 million, which is 25.55 per cent higher than $48,389.85 last year.

It is also considerably higher than the 11.74 per cent export growth in April-January 2003-04 over the same period of 2002-03.

Senior officials of the Commerce Ministry told Business Line that the growth in exports was across the board, covering most of the traditional exports, which by far account for the bulk of India's exports.

They are quite optimistic that with the phase-out of quota in global trade in textiles and clothing from January 1, 2005, the country's textile exports would show up further in the remaining two months of the fiscal, boosting the overall exports and sustaining the distinctly high export growth noticeable now.

The country's imports during January 2005 were also running at a faster clip, clocking a growth of 40.40 per cent at $9,584.53 million over $6,826.40 million in January 2004.

Imports during the first three quarters of the current fiscal are estimated at $83,441.55 million, representing an increase of 34.72 per cent over $61,937.79 million previously.

Oil imports particularly shot up during the period under review, notching up a growth of 40.14 per cent at $23,461.21 million against $16,741.20 million earlier.

This reflects more of a price flare-up in the global crude market than any sharp pick-up in domestic consumption of petroleum, oil and lubricants.

Non-oil imports during the period are estimated at $59,980.34 million, which is 32.71 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $45,196.59 million last year.

The relatively robust growth in non-oil imports also reflects the pronounced pick-up noticeable in the manufacturing sector growth, which was running at eight per cent during the current fiscal.

Trade deficit during the first three quarters of the current fiscal zoomed to $22,687.09 million, higher than the deficit of $13,547.94 million during April-January 2003-04.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 15, 2005)
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