New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) India's exports surpassed $300 billion target in 2011-12 despite a slowdown in demand in major markets like the US and Europe, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said Thursday.
Exports surged by 21 percent to $303.7 billion in 2011-12, led by healthy growth in petroleum, pharmaceuticals, and engineering products, Khullar told reporters here while releasing the provisional data.
The government had set a target of $300 billion exports for the financial year ended March 31, and India managed to exceed the export target helped by product and market diversification strategy.
However, imports surged by 32.1 percent to $488.6 billion, leaving the highest ever trade deficit of $184.9 billion. The government had set a target of $150 billion trade deficit.
"This is the highest ever trade deficit and is a serious concern," Khullar said.
Engineering exports grew by 16.9 percent to $58.2 billion. Exports of petroleum and oil products surged by 38.5 percent to $57.5 billion and gems and jewellery exports increased to $45.9 billion, which is 13.3 percent higher than the exports registered in the previous year.
Other sectors which showed healthy performance include: drugs and pharmaceuticals, up 21.9 percent at $13.1 billion; leather, up 22.5 percent at $4.2 billion; electronics, up 9.2 percent at $9 billion; cotton yarn and fabric made-up, up 17.4 percent at $7.2 billion, readymade garments yarns and fabrics, up 18 percent at $13.7 billion and marine products up 31.4 percent at $3.4 billion.
Imports of petroleum, oil and lubricants surged by 46.9 percent to $155.6 billion largely due to increase in prices in international markets. This has also been the main reason for widening deficit.
Gold and silver imports jumped by 44.4 percent to $61.5 billion. Imports of coal surged by 80.3 percent to $17.6 billion and imports of machinery increased by 27.7 percent to $35.4 billion.
Imports of electronics goods grew by 23 percent to $32.7 billion; iron and steel imports increased by 15 percent to $11.9 billion; vegetable oil imports grew by 47.5 percent to $9.7 billion; and fertilizer imports surged by 59 percent to $11 billion.
However, imports of gems and jewellery fell by 0.6 percent to $31 billion.
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