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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

India Exports January 2008

India's export growth accelerated in January for the first time in three months as companies shipped more gems, jewelry and other manufactured goods. Shipments, which account for about 15 percent of India's $906 billion economy, rose 20.5 percent from a year earlier to $13.14 billion, the commerce ministry said in a statement in New Delhi last week. That was faster than December's 16 percent gain. Overseas sales are rising as companies boost shipments to Europe and Japan to counter weaker demand from the U.S., India's biggest exports market.

Imports advanced 63.6 percent in January from a year earlier to $22.5 billion, widening the trade deficit to $9.3 billion from $2.8 billion, according to the report. Oil imports in January rose 61 percent to $7.7 billion, while non-oil imports gained 65 percent to $14.8 billion.

Overseas sales are also benefiting from stronger shipments from industries such as gems, jewelry, oil products and engineering goods -- which account for more than half of India's exports. That's helped to offset a slowdown from other sectors like fabrics and chemicals. Gems and jewelry exports rose 11.1 percent to $1.7 billion in January from $1.6 billion in the same month a year ago, according to the Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Council.

Shipments to Europe rose 19.7 percent in the six months to Sept. 30, compared with 16.1 percent in the same period a year ago, according to the latest breakdown of exports data released by the Reserve Bank of India. Growth in sales to Japan jumped to 30 percent from 5.6 percent in the same period.

Exports to the U.S. grew 5 percent in the six months ending September, down from 14.7 percent a year earlier. India provides a more detailed analysis of exports five months after releasing initial data.

Rising demand for Indian goods helped exporters to overcome the rupee's near 10 percent gain against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of the current fiscal year in April 1, which has made products manufactured in India more expensive overseas.

Exports of vehicles, including cars and trucks, in January rose 26 percent to 97,123 from a year earlier, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi.

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