India's exports were up 3.98 per cent to $ 312.35 billion in FY 2013-14 while imports were down 8.11 per cent. Imports retreated to $450.94 billion, narrowing the trade deficit to $138.59 billion in the last fiscal.
The trade deficit in FY 2012-13, stood at $190.33 billion, but in March exports were down by 3.15 per cent to $29.57 billion and imports fell by 2.11 per cent to $40 billion as against the same period last year.
The trade deficit during the month stood at $10.5 billion as against $10.4 billion in March 2013.
Merchandise exports of the country in FY2012-13 aggregated at $300.4 billion. The overall shipments in 2013-14 were short of the target of $325 billion fixed by the government for the period.
India missed its goods export target for 2013-14 as exports were down in March 2014 for the second straight month on sluggish demand in major markets, loss of preferential access to the EU and quality issues with drug exports (See: Indian exports to fall short of $325-bn target).
The sharpest fall was registered by gems and jewellery exports, during the month, even as pharmaceutical exports remained almost static.
Exports were down 3.15 per cent to $29.5 billion in March the report said.
Trade deficit during March 2014 remained unchanged from March 2013 level at $10.5 billion as imports declined 2.11 per cent to $40.08 billion.
Imports were down overall, due mostly to a decline in gold and silver imports, but also due to a sluggish manufacturing sector.
Gold and silver imports were down 22.1 per cent to $3.78 billion in March, as against the 2013-14 fiscal year, posting a decline of 8.82 per cent to $39.52 billion.
Meanwhile, exporters remain deeply apprehensive due to a deceleration in shipments from the strengthening rupee.
Business Line quoted Engineering Export Promotion Council Chairman Anupam Shah as saying any more increase in rupee value against the US dollar and other hard major currencies would further dent India's exports, which had somehow managed to sail through the troubled global markets, partly helped by the currency depreciation (earlier this fiscal).