Reeling under the slackening global growth, Indias annual exports growth slipped to a three-month low of 4.2 per cent to $24.6 billion February as against $23.6 billion during the same month a year ago.
From a peak of 82 per cent in July 2011, exports growth had slipped to 6.71 per cent in December and 10.10 per cent in January 2012.
Imports, during February, grew by a substantial 20.65 per cent year-on-year at $39.78 billion as against $32.9 billion during the corresponding period a year ago. The resultant trade deficit for February stood at $15.1 billion.
For April-February, exports aggregated to $267.4 billion year-on-year, up 21.4 per cent, due to a surge witnessed in the early months of the fiscal. While the imports increased by 29.4 per cent to $434.1 billion leaving a trade gap of $166.7 billion.
Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had earlier said that the exports would likely touch over $290 billion for the fiscal with a trade deficit of around $180 billion.
We are inching towards our target of $300 billion but may fell short of it and reach $290 billion with expected average growth of 20 per cent, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president Rafeeque Ahmed said adding that the countrys focus to tap markets like Latin America along with BRICS decision of trading in local currency and emerging opportunities in Iran would help Indias exports sail through the rough weather.
He also said growing protectionism, uncertain growth in the US and the euro zone debt crisis is likely to impact the exports in 2012-13 as well.