India saw its merchandise trade deficit for April 2016 fall to an estimated $4.84 billion, the lowest monthly deficit since March 2011, against a deficit of $10.99 billion in April 2015. This is the fourth straight decline in trade shortfall since March 2011.
It was $5.07 billion in the previous month, government data showed.
Exports during April 2016 were valued at $20.57 billion (Rs136,720.11 crore), which was 6.74 per cent lower in dollar terms and 1.21 per cent lower in rupee terms compared with exports worth $22.05 billion (Rs138,400.44 crore) during April 2015.
Export of non-petroleum goods declined in April 2016 to $18.59 billion against $19.30 billion exported in April 2015, a decline of 3.68 per cent.
Imports during April 2016 were valued at $25.41 billion (Rs168,923.71 crore), which was 23.10 per cent lower in dollar terms and 18.54 per cent lower in rupee terms over the level of imports valued at $33.05 billion (Rs207,380.63 crore) in April 2015.
Oil imports during April 2016 were valued at $5.66 billion, which was 24.01 per cent lower than oil imports valued at $7.44 billion in the corresponding period last year.
Non-oil imports during April 2016 were estimated at $19.76 billion, which was 22.83 per cent lower than non-oil imports of $25.60 billion in April 2015.
Tumbling global crude prices drove down the oil import bill by 24 per cent from a year earlier to $5.66 billion last month.
Subdued gold demand, due to a jewellers' strike and a sharp rise in prices, led to a 60 per cent annual fall.
Imports of the yellow metal totalled $1.2 billion, sharply down from $3.1 billion in the same month a year ago.
Overall, India's imports shrank by an annual 23.10 percent to $25.41 billion.
India's balance of payments swung to a surplus in the October-December quarter.
Exports, meanwhile, posted their 17th straight fall, contracting by an annual 6.74 per cent to $20.57 billion.
Meanwhile, India's trade balance from services exports for March 2016 was estimated at $4.99 billion. The net export of services for April-March 2015-16 was estimated at $69.59 billion, which is lower than net export of services of $76.59 billion during April-March 2014-15.
India's overall trade deficit for April-March 2015-16, including merchandise and service exports, together was estimated at $48.87 billion, which is 20.03 per cent lower in dollar terms than the level of $61.11 billion during April–March 2014-15.