New Delhi, Feb 12 (PTI) India''s merchandise exports roseby 32.5 per cent to USD 20.6 billion in January on an annualbasis, driven by pick up in demand from markets such as the USand Latin America, raising expectations that shipments wouldtouch USD 220 billion by this fiscal-end.
During April-December period of 2010-11, the outboundshipments grew by 29.4 per cent to USD 184.6 billion over theyear-ago period.
"It is a huge jump. Export performance is pretty damngood. My guess is that by next month, we will cross USD 200billion and we should end up at USD 220-225 billion," CommerceSecretary Rahul Khullar told reporters here today.
As per the primary estimates, imports during the monthgrew by 13.1 per cent to USD 28.6 billion over the same periodlast year, resulting in the trade deficit by USD 8 billion.
Exporters body FIEO said that the country''s exports areincreasing in new markets of Latin America and Africa alongwith the US and specially within Asia.
"Exports are increasing because of marketdiversification. Asia itself has emerged as a big exportdestination," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)President Ramu Deora said.
The shipments are increasing in new markets such as LatinAmerica and Africa, trade expert with Indian Instituteof Foreign Trade (IIFT), Rakesh Mohan Joshi said.
In its monetary policy review last month, the RBI hadsaid that global growth prospects have improved in recentweeks.
The recovery in major advanced economies which hadweakened during the second quarter of 2010, regained strengthin the following quarter.
The sectors that performed well during the April-Januaryperiod of the current financial year include gems andjewellery (9.3 per cent), engineering (70 per cent) andpetroleum and oil lubricants (36 per cent), Khullar said.
Exporters are getting huge demands for engineeringproducts from Latin American countries such as Columbia.
The trade deficit during the first 10 months of thefiscal stood at USD 89 billion.
"My guess is that trade gap should end up at USD 105-110billion," the Secretary said.
The government had set up an export target of USD 200billion for 2010-11.
In December 2010, the country''s shipments grew by36.4�per cent to USD 22.5 billion on an annual basis, thehighest in 33 months.
During April-January 2010-11, imports grew by 17.6 percent to USD 273.6 billion, he said, adding the import numbersare "guesstimates" and will be revised.
Officially, the trade numbers for January would bereleased by the government on March 1. .