CORRECTED-India's Nov trade deficit narrows on falling gold, oil imports

Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:50pm IST

(Corrects import milestone in first paragraph)

NEW DELHI Dec 11 (Reuters) - India's trade deficit narrowed in November as exports rose, while imports hit the lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years after gold shipments from overseas fell sharply, according to the trade ministry on Wednesday.

Last month's deficit stood at $9.22 billion, the trade ministry said, compared with $10.56 billion in October - a traditional gold buying season. The deficit had previously narrowed to a two-and-a-half-year low in September.

Merchandise exports rose by 5.86 percent year-on-year in November to $24.6 billion.

Imports fell by 16.37 percent year-on-year to $33.83 billion. Gold and silver imports slumped 80.49 percent to $1.05 billion in November compared to a year earlier.

Gold purchases have been hit this year after India took steps to curb imports of the yellow metal, including imposing a record 10 percent import duty and requiring that 20 percent of imports be re-exported. (Reporting By Shyamantha Asokan; Editing by Rafael Nam)