Recovery in import growth and a slowdown in export growth have combined to push up trade deficit substantially. While oil imports went up sharply, despite the decline in crude oil prices, non-oil imports also clocked a faster growth of nearly 29 per cent.
Most economists believe that the decline of the US Dollar against the Rupee might have impacted export performance. However, exports are expected to pick up in November as most of the shipments to meet the holiday season shopping demand happen during this month.
External trade deficit of the country more than doubled to $6.21 billion for the month of October 2006 from the revised figure of $2.93 billion for the same month of previous year. Cumulative deficit for the first seven months of 2006-07 has increased to $30.23 billion from a revised $25.2 billion for the same period of last year.
Exports for the month of October 2006 stood at a provisional $9.62 billion, an increase of 11.35 per cent over the latest revised figure of $8.64 billion for the same month of previous year. Cumulative exports for the April-October period were at $69.53 billion – an increase of 22.13 per cent over $56.93 billion for the same month of previous year.
In Rupee terms, exports for the month increased 12.97 per cent to Rs43,745 crore from Rs38,724 crore for the previous year month. Cumulative exports for the first seven months went up 27.86 per cent to Rs319,008 crore from Rs249,497 crore.
Imports for October 2006 were at a provisional $15.84 billion, an increase of 36.91 per cent from $11.57 billion a year ago. Cumulative imports were higher by 21.48 per cent at $99.76 billion as compared to $82.12 billion for the same period of previous year
Imports for the month increased 38.76 per cent in Rupee terms to Rs71,971 crore from Rs51,866 crore a year ago. Cumulative imports for the April-October period went up 27.16 per cent to Rs457,537 crore from Rs359,812 crore.
Oil imports for the month went up more than 55 per cent to $5.35 billion from $3.44 billion a year ago. Cumulative oil imports were at $34.01 billion, an increase of more than 39 per cent from $24.4 billion for the same period of previous year.