Exports fall in February, may miss annual target

NEW DELHI Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:28pm IST

Employee work at the production line of Rajnagar textile mill in Ahmedabad September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

Employee work at the production line of Rajnagar textile mill in Ahmedabad September 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Merchandise exports fell for the first time in eight months in February, signalling the country may miss its annual overseas sales target for the second straight year, data released on Tuesday showed.

Several months of rising exports have helped India bring down its current account deficit to a manageable level, and despite the weaker data in February, it is likely to beat last fiscal year's total of $300 billion in merchandise exports.

In the first 11 months of the 2013/14 fiscal year that ends on March 31, India's exports were $282.8 billion, up 4.79 percent from the same period a year ago, data released on the trade ministry website showed. But it is unlikely to export enough in March to reach the trade ministry's $325 billion target

"The momentum of export growth has been lost when we were about to reach the final goal-post," said Anupam Shah, chairman of the Engineering Exporters' body, EEPC India. "At this rate, there is no way we can achieve the target of $325 billion in the current fiscal year."

In February, merchandise exports fell 3.67 percent from a year earlier to $25.69 billion, compared with 3.8 percent growth in January.

Analysts say exports, which contribute nearly 16 percent to the gross domestic product, have slowed in part because of a stronger rupee.

The trade deficit, however, continued to fall in February, driven by a decline in the oil import bill and curbs on gold, the country's second-most expensive overseas purchase after oil. Overall imports fell 17.09 percent year-on-year to $33.82 billion, the data showed.

Falling imports will further ease pressure on the country's current account balance.

The current account deficit narrowed to $4.2 billion, or 0.9 percent of gross domestic product in December quarter, from 6.5 percent, or $31.9 billion, a year earlier.

The trade deficit for the first 11 months of the fiscal year declined by more than $51 billion from a year ago to $128 billion.

(Editing by Richard Borsuk)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Monetary Policy

Monetary Policy

Fed renews zero rate pledge, but hints at steeper rate hike path.  Full Article 

Eyeing Stocks

Eyeing Stocks

Interview - EPFO chief urges green light to buy stocks  Full Article 

Stimulus Reports

Stimulus Reports

China cenbank injects $81 bln into major banks to support economy - reports  Full Article 

Ranbaxy Investigation

Ranbaxy Investigation

Ranbaxy says U.S. authorities seek information on pricing data.  Full Article 

E-Commerce

E-Commerce

Tiger Global leads $60 million investment in Quikr.  Full Article 

Monsoon Update

Monsoon Update

Delayed retreat of monsoon rains to start this weekend  Full Article 

Financing Deal

Financing Deal

IndiGo agrees $2.6 billion aircraft finance deal with China's ICBC  Full Article 

Grim Outlook

Grim Outlook

Sony deepens loss estimate on struggling smartphone business  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage