Exports jump 12.3% to $27 bn in December; imports rise 21.1% to $41.9 bn
Exports rose 12.36% in December to $27.03 billion year-on-year on account of strong performance by sectors like engineering goods and petroleum products.
Imports surged significantly to $41.91 billion, up 21.12%, on increased inbound shipments of crude oil and gold.
As per the data released by the commerce ministry, the trade deficit or difference between imports and exports was $14.88 billion, up about 41% year-on-year.
"Exports have been on a positive trajectory since August 2016 to December 2017 with a dip of 1.1% in the month of October 2017," the ministry said in a statement.
Exports of engineering goods as well as petroleum products showed an increase of over 25% in December.
However, shipments of ready-made garments declined by 8% to $1.33 billion last month.
Gold imports surged by 71.5% to $3.39 billion last month as against $1.97 billion in December 2016.
The imports of petroleum products and crude oil increased by a significant 35% to $10.34 billion in December, from $7.66 billion a year ago.
The ministry said the global Brent prices increased by 18.75% last month, compared to December 2016 as per World Bank commodity price data.
Cumulative value of exports for the period April- December, 2017-18, was $223.512 billion as against $199.467 billion in the year-ago period, registering a growth of 12.05%.
The imports during first nine months of the current fiscal amounted to $338.369 billion as against $277.89 billion, a growth of of 21.76%.
The trade deficit during the period widened to $114.85 billion.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank data showed that the exports in services in November 2017 were valued at $15.392 billion.
The imports were valued at $9.64 billion.
It said in a press release that the trade balance in services (net export of services) for the month was estimated at $5.74 billion.