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First-half exports up 13.4 pc

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov 1

EVEN as the whole year export target for the current fiscal has been pegged at 12 per cent, exports during the first-half of 2002-03 (April to September) maintained a buoyant trend by notching up a growth rate of 13.49 per cent at $23974.30 million as against $21123.85 million in the comparable months of 2001.

Provisional trade data compiled by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S) Kolkata show that import growth during the first-half of the current fiscal was at a moderate momentum, logging a growth of 8.49 per cent at $28277.41 million as against $26065.47 million in the comparable months of the previous year.

The country's trade deficit during the first half is estimated at $4303.11 million, which is lower than the deficit of $4941.62 million during the corresponding six months of 2001-02. Commerce Ministry's officials are happy with the persistently buoyant trend in exports and they ascribed this to the salutary performance of traditional export items such as gem and jewellery, chemical and related products and textiles to some extent particularly as the latter has recovered from its languid performance of last year.

On the import front, oil imports were higher by 13.43 per cent at $8732.17 million as against $7698.47 million, reflecting largely the flare-up of crude prices in the global market following the threat of possible US attack on Iraq. Non-oil imports during April to September 2002-03 are estimated at $19545.24 million which is 6.41 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $18367 million in the corresponding period of 2001, testifying to the tangible industrial recovery witnessed in the first few months of the current fiscal.

In September 2002, while exports growth was higher by 7.90 per cent at $3994.62 million ($3702.01 million in September 2001), imports growth went up by a whopping 30.97 per cent at $5110.65 million ($3902.12 million in September 2001).

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