Being pushed by expensive crude oils and vegetable oils, imports grew at a faster rate of 21.7 per cent to USD 39.5 billion leaving a trade deficit of USD 19.6 billion - the highest ever in any month in the last four years. From a peak of 82 per cent in July, export growth has been slipping to 44.25 per cent in August, 36.36 per cent in September and 10.8 per cent in October.
"In any sector, it is the lowest in the last three months, deceleration is uniform," Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters here. But, for the cumulative April-October period, exports aggregated to USD 179.8 billion showing a handsome growth of 46 per cent, thanks to sterling trend witnessed in the previous months of the current fiscal.
"The picture is not going to be rosy for the next six months," he said. Steady rise of 31 per cent in imports for the seven-month period to USD 273.5 billion has left trade gap widening to USD 93.7 billion.
"Balance of Trade is something to be very worried about because at this rate, it is going to breach USD 150 billion mark (for 2011-12)," Khullar said. The sectors which depend heavily on the European markets have been hit hard. The electronic goods, bunch of which goes to Europe, have shown a deceleration of 18 per cent in October. "Clearly, that is where the growth has contracted ...effect of what is happening there". The export growth has been the lowest since October 2009 when it contracted by 6.6 per cent.