New Delhi: Exports rose 12.36 per cent in December to USD 27.03 billion year-on-year on account of strong performance by sectors like engineering goods and petroleum products.
Imports surged significantly to USD 41.91 billion, up 21.12 per cent, on increased inbound shipments of crude oil and gold.
As per the data released by the commerce ministry, the trade deficit or difference between imports and exports was USD 14.88 billion, up about 41 per cent year-on-year.
“Exports have been on a positive trajectory since August 2016 to December 2017 with a dip of 1.1 per cent in the month of October 2017,” the ministry said in a statement.
Exports of engineering goods as well as petroleum products showed an increase of over 25 per cent in December.
However, shipments of ready-made garments declined by 8 per cent to USD 1.33 billion last month.
Gold imports surged by 71.5 per cent to USD 3.39 billion last month as against USD 1.97 billion in December 2016.
The imports of petroleum products and crude oil increased by a significant 35 per cent to USD 10.34 billion in December, from USD 7.66 billion a year ago.
The ministry said the global Brent prices increased by 18.75 per cent last month, compared to December 2016 as per World Bank commodity price data.
Cumulative value of exports for the period April- December, 2017-18, was USD 223.512 billion as against USD 199.467 billion in the year-ago period, registering a growth of 12.05 per cent.
The imports during first nine months of the current fiscal amounted to USD 338.369 billion as against USD 277.89 billion, a growth of of 21.76 per cent.
The trade deficit during the period widened to USD 114.85 billion.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank data showed that the exports in services in November 2017 were valued at USD 15.392 billion.
The imports were valued at USD 9.64 billion.
It said in a press release that the trade balance in services (net export of services) for the month was estimated at USD 5.74 billion.