India’s trade deficit narrowed 12 percent in May, the second month of fiscal 2012-13, but both exports and imports fell on a year-over-year basis, the Commerce Ministry reported on Thursday.
According to preliminary figures, the trade gap in May was estimated at $16.3 billion, compared with $18.5 billion a year earlier.
Exports fell 4.16 percent year-over-year to $25.68 billion, while imports dropped 7.36 percent to $41.9 billion.
Total exports during April to May decreased to $50.13 billion from $50.48 billion for the same period last year. Imports for the two-month period were estimated at $79.8 billion, down 2.42 percent from $81.87 billion.
The trade deficit for the first two months of 2012-13 amounted to $29.7 billion.
India’s containerized shipments through major ports during April-May slipped 1.71 percent from a year earlier to 1.29 million 20-foot-equivalent units.
The current deceleration in demand for Indian goods in key global markets, particularly the European Union and the U.S., is likely to put pressure on government efforts to boost the country’s outbound trade volume, targeted at $360 billion in 2012-13 and $500 billion by 2013-14.
India’s exports surged 21 percent year-over-year to $303.7 billion in fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31.