Exports up 20% in Jan, imports rise a whopping 63%
EXPORTS from the country continued to grow at a steady pace in 2008. Outbound shipments rose 20.47% to $13.14 billion in January, compared to $10.9 billion in January 2007. Cumulative value of exports for the period April-January 2007 stood at $124.19 billion, against $102.11 billion in the year-ago period—a growth of 21.62%. Import growth was much higher at 63.57%, growing to $22.5 billion in January 2008 compared to $ 13.75 billion in January, 2007. In the April-January 2007-08 period, imports grew by 29.63% to $ 191.6 billion. While exports have almost touched last year’s annual export figures of $125 billion, government officials are not quite sure whether the target of $160 billion set for this fiscal could be reached. “We would be at least close to the target, even if we don’t reach it,” an official said. Exports have not performed as well as anticipated in 2007-08 due to a 12% appreciation in the value of the rupee affecting competitiveness. Labour intensive sectors like textile, leather, handicraft and marine products have been hit the most. Oil imports during January 2008 were valued at $7.71 billion which is 60.81% higher than oil imports worth $ 4.79 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April- January 2007-08 were at $57.02 billion which was 16.49% higher than the oil imports of $ 48.95 billion in the corresponding period last year. Non-oil imports during January 2008 were estimated at $14.79 billion which was 65.05% higher than non-oil imports of $ 8.96 billion in January 2007. Non-oil imports during April-January 2007-08 were at $134.58 billion which was 36.13% higher than the level of such imports valued at $ 98.86 billion in April-January 2006-07.