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August 4, 2009

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Home » Business » Economy

India continues to feel pinch as exports tumble

INDIA'S merchandise exports fell by more than a quarter in June, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday, marking the nation's ninth month of steeply declining trade.

Merchandise exports were valued at 612.17 billion rupees (US$12.8 billion), down 27.7 percent in dollar terms from 759.3 billion rupees a year earlier, according to government figures.

Imports also plunged, shrinking 29.3 percent in dollar terms to 906.6 billion rupees, from 1.1 trillion rupees a year earlier.

The falling cost of oil drove that decline, with oil imports for the month 50.6 percent lower, at US$5 billion. India imports about three quarters of its oil.

India's trade deficit for the months of April through June was US$15.5 billion, down from US$28.6 billion during the same months last year.

Merchandise exports account for about 15 percent of India's gross domestic product, far less than China but still a significant driver for Asia's third-biggest economy.

Harsh Pati Singhania, president of Indian industry group FICCI, called the rate of fall in exports "disturbing" and urged the government to do more to help.

He said he was troubled by the decline in non-oil imports, which totaled US$38.2 billion from April through June, down 24.6 percent from the same period last year.


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