Exports up 0.8 pc in Nov; trade deficit widens to USD 16.6 bn

(Eds: Adding details) New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) India's exports grew by a meagre 0.80 per cent to USD 26.5 billion in November, mainly due to a high base effect, even as the trade deficit widened to USD 16.67 billion, according to commerce ministry data.Imports rose by 4.31 per cent to USD 43.17 billion during the month.The trade deficit stood at USD 15.1 billion in November 2017. It was USD 17.13 billion in October this year. The growth rate of imports in November, however, was the lowest since December 2016, when the inbound shipments grew by only 0.46 per cent.The deficit widened despite a decline of 15.6 per cent in gold imports at USD 2.75 billion during the month under review.Sectors like engineering, gems and jewellery, cotton/ yarn/fabrics, man-made yarn/fabrics, leather, iron ore, marine products, cashew and rice recorded negative export growth in November.On the other hand, pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, carpet, petroleum and plastic showed positive growth.Exporters attributed the marginal export growth in November to high base effect, as the foreign shipments in the comparable month of the previous fiscal were quite high at USD 26.29 billion. Federation of India Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Gupta demanded "urgent and immediate support" to boost exports.He asked the government to augment the flow of credit and interest subsidy for exports sector. Oil imports in November jumped by 41.31 per cent to USD 13.49 billion. However, the non-oil imports dipped by 6.79 per cent to USD 29.68 billion. During April-November this fiscal, exports rose by 11.58 per cent to USD 217.52 billion, while imports recorded a growth of 14.71 per cent to USD 345.64 billion.Trade deficit during the period widened to USD 128.13 billion as against USD 106.37 billion during April-November 2017-18.Oil imports during April-November this fiscal increased by 49.14 per cent to USD 97.43 billion. Non-oil imports grew by 5.18 per cent to USD 248.21 billion during the period. Meanwhile, RBI data showed that India's services exports rose by 19 per cent to USD 16.82 billion in October. The services imports also went up to USD 10.10 billion as against USD 8.7 billion in October 2017. PTI RR KPM ABMABM