India's trade deficit for the first nine months of the current fiscal (April-December 2014-15) shot up to an estimated $110.05 billion, crossing the $107.08 billion trade deficit logged during April-December 2013-14, on the back of falling exports.
Although India's imports valued at $34.83 billion (Rs218,584.77 crore) in December 2014 were down 4.78 per cent in dollar terms and 3.48 per cent lower in rupee terms over the level of imports valued at $36.58 billion (Rs226,468.46 crore) in December 2013, its exports were much lower in value terms to offset the trade deficit.
The decline in import bill was due mainly to a big fall in the country's oil import bill, which is the largest single item in the country's import bill.
Cumulative value of imports for the period April-December 2014-15 stood at $351.21 billion (Rs2,134,282.62 crore) against $338.91 billion (Rs2,028,361.39 crore), posting a growth of 3.63 per cent in dollar terms and a 5.22 per cent rise in rupee terms over the same period of the previous year.
Merchandise exports from the country during December 2014 were valued at $25.40 billion (Rs159,378.46 crore), which was 3.77 per cent lower in dollar terms and 2.46 per cent lower in rupee terms compared to the level of $26.39 billion (Rs163,400.22 crore) during December 2013.
Cumulative value of exports for the period April-December 2014-15 was $241.15 billion (Rs1,465,171.42 crore) against $231.83 billion (Rs1,395,186.97 crore) recording a growth of 4.02 per cent in dollar terms and growth of 5.02 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
Oil imports during December 2014 were valued at $9.94 billion, which was 28.6 per cent lower than oil imports valued at $13.92 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Oil imports during April-December 2014-15 were valued at $116.50 billion, which was 4.7 per cent lower than the oil imports valued at $122.21 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Non-oil imports during December 2014 were estimated at $24.89 billion, which was 9.9 per cent higher than non-oil imports of $22.66 billion in December 2013. Non-oil imports during April-December 2014-15 were valued at $234.71 billion, which was 8.3 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $216.70 billion in April-December 2013-14.