India's Q4 trade deficit increases by USD 10.9 bn

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Mumbai, June 30 (UNI) India's trade deficit, on balance of payment (BoP) basis, grew by USD 10.9 billion at USD 23.8 billion in the fourth quarter ended March 08, as compared to USD 12.9 billion in corresponding quarter a year ago.

Attributing the sharp increase in the trade deficit mainly to steep increase in crude oil prices, the Reserve Bank of India today said in a statement, ''A sharp rise in trade deficit was witnessed during the quarter due to rise in crude oil imports.'' The data released by Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S) has indicated a significant growth in oil imports at 88.9 per cent in Q4 of 2007-08 against 5.3 per cent in corresponding quarter previous fiscal, the RBI said.

While, non-oil imports recorded a growth of 30.6 per cent from 21.4 per cent during the same period. The key drivers of growth in non-oil imports were capital goods, coal and coke, chemicals and fertilisers, RBI said.

The sharp increase in oil imports reflected the impact of increasing oil price of the Indian basket of international crude (a mix of Oman, Dubai and Brent varieties), which increased to USD 93.9 per barrel in Q4 of 2007-08 from USD 56.4 per barrel in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

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