Exports shrug off Re jitters, rise 35% to $13.3b in Oct Petroleum, Gems & Jewellery & Engineering Go
THE appreciating rupee notwithstanding, exports grew 35% to $13.30 billion in October, compared to $9.8 billion in October 2006. The increase has been mostly in import-intensive sectors, including petroleum, gems & jewellery and engineering products while labour-intensive sectors such as leather, textile and handicraft are witnessing negative growth, government officials said. Imports increased by 24.27% to $20.79 billion during the month. According to commerce secretary GK Pillai, if the trend continues, it would be possible to achieve exports worth $145 billion during the fiscal against the target of $160 billion. The secretary clarified that the impressive export figures did not reflect the hardships faced by labour-intensive export sectors that have experienced a sharp drop in shipments due to the appreciating rupee. “It is sectors such as petroleum, gems & jewellery and engineering goods that account for about 42% of exports, which are experiencing an increase,” he said. Exports during April-October rose 20.89% to $85.58 billion, while imports were up 25.31% at $129.99 billion. Textile exports fell by 22%, handicraft by 66%, leather by 9% and marine products by almost 20%. Oil imports during October were valued at $6.26 billion, which was 14.59% higher than oil imports valued at $5.34 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April-October were valued at $37.52 billion — 9.25% higher than oil imports of $34.34 billion in the corresponding period last year. Non-oil imports during October were estimated at $14.65 billion, which was 28.82% higher than nonoil imports worth $11.37 billion in October 2006. Non-oil imports during April-October were valued at $92.46 billion, 33.26% higher than $69.38 billion in April-October 2006. Trade deficit for April-October was estimated at $44.40 billion.