India's exports dip 4.56 percent in June

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) India's exports declined 4.56 percent to $23.78 billion in June and imports contracted due to the government's curb on gold and silver purchases, helping in lowering the trade deficit, government data showed Friday.

The country's total merchandise imports were valued at $36.03 billion in June as compared to $36.16 recorded during the same month last year, registered a decline of 0.37 percent, according to data released by the commerce ministry here.

The contraction in imports has helped in bringing down the trade deficit from a seven month high of $20.14 billion registered in May.

Trade deficit narrowed to $12.25 billion in June.

Addressing a media briefing here, Director General of Foreign Trade Anup Pujari said the overall imports declined in June largely due to a sharp drop in the imports gold and silver.

"Decline in gold and silver imports could be attributed to the steps taken by the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)," Pujari said.

Value of imports of gold and silver dipped to $2.45 billion in June from $8.4 billion in the previous month.

Oil imports in June were valued at $12.76 billion, 13.74 percent higher than the oil imports bill of $11.22 billion in the same month in 2012.

Non-oil imports dropped by 6.71 percent to $23.26 billion during the month under review.

For the first three months of the current financial year, total trade deficit rose to $50.18 billion as compared to $42.21 billion recorded during the same period last year.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President M. Rafeeque Ahmed said weak global demands were putting pressure on India's foreign trade.

"While it is disappointing, we should not undermine the global trend as many countries pursuing export-led growth are also exhibiting declining exports. China has also posted a negative growth of 3 percent in exports in June," Ahmed said.

The cumulative value of exports for the April-June period was $72.45 billion as compared to $73.49 billion recorded during the same period last year, registering a decline of 1.41 percent year-on-year.

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