India's exports contracted 13.6 percent in January - 14th month in a row - to USD 21 billion due to a steep fall in shipment of petroleum products and engineering goods amid tepid global demand.
Imports too shrank 11 percent to USD 28.71 billion last month, leaving a trade deficit of USD 7.63 billion as against USD 7.87 billion in the same month last year.
It is the lowest deficit in 11 months. In February last year, it was USD 6.85 billion.
The deficit would have been lower if gold
imports hadn't shot up 85.16 percent last month to USD 2.91 billion.
Overseas shipments of petroleum products shrank 35.18 percent to USD 1.95 billion in January, while that of engineering goods declined by 27.6 percent to 4.98 million.
For the first 10 months of the current fiscal, cumulative exports declined by 17.65 percent to USD 217.67 billion, as against USD 264.32 billion in April-January period of 2014-15.
As per the data released by the Commerce Ministry, imports dipped by 15.46 percent to USD 324.52 billion for the 10 months, leaving a trade deficit of USD 106.8 billion.
The trade gap was USD 119.55 billion in April-January 2014-15. Oil imports last month were valued at USD 5.02 billion - 39.01 percent lower than the same month last year. Non-oil imports too dipped by 1.4 percent to USD 23.68 billion.