India's trade deficit narrowed to an estimated $10.56 billion in October 2013, compared to $20.21 billion in October last year, helped by a sharp fall in gold imports.
Exports from the country, on the other hand, posted a robust 13.47 per cent growth to $27.27 billion in October 2013.
Imports of gold and silver into the country fell by 79.9 per cent to $1.37 billion in October 2013 from $6.85 billion in October 2012, mainly due to an increase in customs duties and other import restrictions imposed by the government.
India's exports during October 2013 were valued at $27.27 billion (Rs168,031.71 crore), which was 13.47 per cent higher in dollar terms and 31.86 per cent higher in rupee terms compared to imports worth $24.03 billion (Rs127,431.81 crore) during October 2012
Cumulative value of exports during April-October 2013 -14 was $179.38 billion (Rs1,069,226.68 crore) against $168.71 billion (Rs918,270.21 crore), up 6.32 per cent in dollar terms and 16.44 per cent higher in rupee terms compared to exports over the same period last year.
India's exports continued to grow for the fourth straight month on the back of increased demand from the US and the EU.
Imports during October 2013 were valued at $37.83 billion (Rs233,073.43 crore), showing a negative growth of 14.50 per cent in dollar terms and a negative growth of 0.65 per cent in rupee terms over the imports valued at $44.24 billion (Rs234,597.63 crore) in October 2012.
Cumulative value of imports during April-October 2013-14 stood at $270.06 billion (Rs1,598,772.73 crore), against imports worth $280.74 billion (Rs1,527,088.62 crore) in April-October 2012-13, registering a negative growth of 3.80 per cent in dollar terms and a growth of 4.69 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
The country's trade deficit during the first seven months of the financial year (April-October 2013-14) stood at $90.68 billion, against a deficit of $112.03 billion during April-October 2012-13.
"We are confident of reaching the export target of $350 billion this fiscal and significantly contain the trade deficit," commerce secretary S R Rao told media persons today.
Engineering goods exports have done specifically well in October, posting a growth of 36 per cent to $35 billion, while exports rose across sectors.
Petroleum exports fell to $ 5.4 billion during the month compared to $6.1 billion last year.
On the other hand, oil imports during October 2013, at $15.21 billion, was 1.7 per cent higher than oil imports in October 2012.
Non-oil imports during October 2013 at $22.60 billion was 22.8 per cent lower compared to last year.