Exports growth slipped to 7.33 per cent in July after witnessing a double-digit expansion in the previous two months, pushing up the trade deficit to one- year high of $12.22 billion.
Exports in July stood at $27.72 billion as compared to $25.83 billion in the same month last year. In June and May, growth was 10.22 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively.
The sectors that put up a good show include textiles (13.3 per cent), petroleum products (28 per cent), engineering (23.9 per cent), leather (17.23 per cent), marine products (25 per cent), oil seeds (19.25 per cent), chemicals (16.67 per cent) and pharmaceuticals (10.78 per cent).
Imports increased by 4.25 per cent year-on-year to $39.95 billion in July. This is the second consecutive growth in the inbound shipments after remaining in the negative for the past several months.
Trade deficit of $12.22 billion is one-year high as as the previous high was $12.49 billion in July 2013.
According to exporters' body Fieo, gems and jewellery and electronics continue to be a cause of concern as their negative growth is pulling down overall exports growth. It wants the government to announce some major initiatives in the forthcoming Foreign Trade Policy to boost exports.
FIEO expressed hope that exports will cross $350 billion by end of the fiscal.
In the April-July period, exports grew by 8.62 per cent to $107.8 billion.
Imports, however, dipped by 3.8 per cent to $153.15 billion during the first four months of this financial year.
Trade deficit during the period stood at $45.31 billion as against $59.91 billion in the same period last year.
Oil imports increased by 12.75 per cent in July to $14.35 billion. Non-oil imports during the month under review were up by 0.03 per cent to $25.6 billion.
Country's gold imports dipped by 26.39 per cent to $1.81 billion in July this year from $2.46 billion in the same month last year.