India had a trade deficit of $19.6 billion in October, the highest in four years, as the pace of export growth slackened amid a slowdown in major global markets.
The trade gap was estimated at $93.7 billion in the April-October period, the first seven months of fiscal 2011-12, according to the Commerce Ministry.
"Balance of trade is something to be very worried about because at this rate, it is going to breach the $150 billion-mark in fiscal 2011-12 compared with about $105 billion the previous year," a ministry official said.
India’s exports in October increased 10.8 percent to $19.9 billion on a year-on-year basis, the lowest growth rate in two years. Imports for the month increased 21.7 percent to $39.5 billion from a year earlier.
Total exports from April through October were estimated at $179.8 billion, up 46 percent from the same period last fiscal year. Overall imports for the seven-month period rose 31 percent year-over-year to $273.5 billion.
“The sectors, which heavily depend on the European markets, have been hit hard. Clearly, that’s where the export growth has contracted,” the official said.
India, one of the world’s fast-growing economies, exported a record $246 billion worth of goods in fiscal 2010-11 ended March 31, and has set an export target of $450 billion by fiscal 2013-14.