India's trade deficit widened in December to $10.14 billion compared with $9.22 billion in November, even as imports continued to fall and merchandise exports rose 3.49 per cent year-on-year to $26.35 billion, although at a slower pace than the 5.86 per cent growth recorded in November.
Despite the curbs on import of gold, the second-largest item in the country's import basket, India's trade deficit for the first nine months of the current financial year (April-December 2013-14) stood at an estimated $110.04 billion.
It was, however, lower compared with the $146.83 billion shortfall in trade reported during April-December 2012-13.
Finance minister P Chidambaram had earlier said that he expected a current account deficit of less than $50 billion, compared with earlier estimates of $70 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2014.
Exports during December 2013 were valued at $26.35 billion (Rs163,109.25 crore), which was 3.49 per cent higher in dollar terms and 17.24 per cent higher in rupee terms compared with exports valued at $25.46 billion (Rs139,119.85 crore) during December 2012.
Cumulative value of exports during the first nine months of the financial year (April-December 2013-14) stood at $230.34 billion (Rs13,86,496.32 crore) against $217.42 billion (Rs11,84,748.94 crore), a growth of 5.94 per cent in dollar terms and a 17.03 per cent rise in rupee terms over the same period last year.
Imports during December 2013 were valued at $36.49 billion (Rs225,887.93 crore), showing a negative growth of 15.25 per cent in dollar terms and a negative growth of 3.98 per cent in rupee terms over imports valued at $43.05 billion (Rs235,261.91 crore) in December 2012.
Cumulative value of imports for the period April-December 2013-14 stood at $340.38 billion (Rs20,36,568.32 crore) against $364.24 billion (Rs19,83,940.59 crore), registering a negative growth of 6.55 per cent in dollar terms and a growth of 2.65 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
Oil imports, the single-largest item in the country's import basket, during December 2013 were valued at $13.9 billion, up 1.1 per cent from oil imports valued at $13.76 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Oil imports during April-December 2013-14 were valued at $124.96 billion, which was 2.6 per cent higher than the oil imports worth $121.83 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports during December 2013 were estimated at $22.59 billion, which was 22.9 per cent lower than non-oil imports worth $29.30 billion in December2012.
Non-oil imports during April-December 2013-14 were valued at $215.42 billion, which was 11.1 per cent lower than the level of such imports valued at $242.41 billion in April-December 2012-13.