Trade deficit also fell to USD 5.07 billion last month as imports too contracted by 21.56 percent to USD 27.78 billion. The trade gap - difference between imports and exports - was USD 11.39 billion in March 2015.

The Commerce Ministry said the trend of falling exports is in line with other major world economies.

"The growth in exports have fallen for the US (10.81 percent), European Union (7.40 percent), China (11.37 percent) and Japan (12.85 percent) for January 2016 over the corresponding period previous year as per WTO statistics," it said.

While the country's overall GDP growth has been robust and even FDI inflows have been consistently growing, exports have been a weak area for several months now. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also said this weekend in Washington that "there are concerns about export growth which is declining consecutively for more than a year due to slowdown in global demand".

Overseas shipments of petroleum products shrank 21.43 percent to USD 2.07 billion in March, while that of engineering goods declined by 11.29 percent to USD 5.34 4.56 billion.

For April-March 2015-16, cumulative exports declined by 15.85 per cent to USD 261.13 billion, as against USD 310.3 billion in 2014-15.

Imports too dipped by 15.28 percent to USD 379.6 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 118.45 billion. The trade gap was USD 137.69 billion in 2014-15.

Oil imports in last month were valued at USD 4.79 billion - 35.3 percent lower than the same month last year. Non-oil imports too dipped by 17.92 per cent to USD 22.98 billion.

Gold imports in March dipped by 80.48 percent to USD 972.96 million as against USD 4.98 billion in the same month last year.

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