India's exports rise 11.64 percent on weak rupee

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) India's exports registered a healthy 11.64 percent growth in July after contracting in the previous two months, as a weak rupee boosted shipments from Asia's third-largest economy, government data showed Monday.

Exports grew to $25.83 billion in July 2013, which was 11.64 percent higher than the $23.14 billion registered in the same month last year.

The monthly trade deficit was $12.27 billion, almost the same level of the previous month. Trade deficit had narrowed to $12.24 billion in June after hitting a seven-month high in April.

Total value of imports in July 2013 was $38.10 billion, as compared to $40.61 billion recorded in the same month last year, registering a year-on-year drop of 6.20 percent, according to data released by the ministry of commerce and industry.

Recent depreciation in the value of Indian rupee has helped boost shipments from India, Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao told reporters here after releasing the provisional trade data.

The Indian rupee has lost almost 10 percent of its value since the beginning of this year.

Rao, however, said only a stable exchange rate would help Indian exporters get long-term contracts.

"Volatility does not permit exporters to get full value from the depreciation," the commerce secretary said.

The cumulative value of exports for the period April-July period was $98.29 billion, as against $96.63 billion registering during the same period last year, posting a growth of 1.72 percent.

The value of imports for the first four months of the current fiscal was $160.73 billion, which was 2.82 percent higher than the $156.32 billion registered in April-July period of 2012.

The country's trade deficit has jumped to $62.44 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal as compared to $59.69 billion recorded during the same period last fiscal.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president M. Rafeeque Ahmed said the depreciation of the rupee and incentives announced by the government had boosted exports.

"Double-digit growth in exports coupled with positive signs emanating from the US and EU reassures me of continuance of the trend in months to come," Ahmed said.

Oil imports dropped by 8.02 percent to $12.70 billion in July. For April-July period total value of oil import was $54.58 billion, 2.65 percent higher than the oil import bill of $53.17 billion in the same period last year.

Non-oil import dropped by 5.26 percent at $25.39 billion in July. For April-July period, value of non-oil imports posted an increase of 2.9 percent at $106.15 billion.

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