With the continuing global slowdown and fall in global commodity prices, India’s merchandise exports declined 5.66 per cent in February in dollar terms over the same month year ago, with no let-up in the last 15 months, an official statement said on Tuesday.
Exports in January had declined by 13.6 per cent.
"Exports during February 2016 valued at $20.73 billion (Rs.1,41,515.41 crore) which was 5.66 per cent lower than the level of $21.98 billion (Rs.1,36,379.94 crore) during February 2015," said the commerce ministry statement.
In the first 11 months (April-February) of this fiscal, cumulative export value plunged 16.73 per cent to $238 billion (Rs.15,56,576.47 crore) from $286 billion (Rs.17,46,265.60 crore) in like period year ago.
Similarly, imports declined 5.03 per cent to $27.28 billion in February this year from $28.72 billion in same month year ago.
Cumulative imports for the eleven-month period (April-February) were worth more than $351 billion, which was a 14.74 per cent fall from $412 billion worth recorded for the same period last year.
However, gold imports in February jumped 48 per cent to $1.98 billion.
Trade deficit, thus, narrowed to a 17-month low of $6.8 billion in February as oil imports more than halved from the previous month.
Trade deficit for the eleven months of the fiscal has narrowed to more than $113 billion, while the corresponding figure for the previous year was more than $126 billion.
Further, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data on Tuesday showed that exports of services dropped to $12.57 billion in January 2016 as against $14.03 billion in December 2015. Services imports, too, fell and stood at $6.8 billion in January 2015 as against $7.1 billion in December 2015.