Indian export-growth off-peak, but strong in March

India’s exports cgrew 44% in March, the final month of the last financial year. For the full year, the growth was 37.5%, as announced by the government earlier.

Export growth was slightly lower than the 50% growth seen during the early part of 2010, but substantially higher than the rates prevalent a year ago.

India’s exports had declined by 40% in May 2009 and started remained in negative territory for a year, indicating poor global economic climate and demand.

Total exports during March was $29.1 billion, compared to an average of $20 billion per month for the full year. Exports were in their teens during the early part of last year.

After remaining in the $7-8 billion range for several months (and registering year-on-year declines), India’s oil import bill again started climbing in March.

Oil imports during March was $9.4 billion, 8.2% higher than March 2010, reflecting the stress put by galloping crude prices on the Indian economy. India imports around 75% of its consumption, though the recently started Rajasthan block production helped bring the zooming bill under control.

For the full year, oil imports were at US$ 101.7 billion, an increase of 16.7% over the $87.1 billion during 2000-10.

Sticking to the trend, non-oil imports (goods imports) continued to grow slower than India’s exports. They were $25.3 billion during March, around 14% lower than India’s exports, but 21% higher than non-oil imports of March 2010. Total imports, including oil and non-oil items, for the month were up 17.2%.

For the full year, non-oil imports were at $249 billion.

Thanks to the good performance by exports and lower oil imports, India’s trade deficit for 2010-11 was estimated at US $ 104.8 billion, lower than the deficit of $109.6 billion in 2009-10.