New Delhi: India's exports grew by an impressive 56.9 per cent year-on-year to USD 25.9 billion in May due to a rise in demand from Western markets like the US and Europe.

Imports also surged by 54.08 per cent to USD 40.9 billion, leaving a trade deficit of USD 14.9 billion, as per official data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday.

Earlier, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said, "This is the highest imports figure in the last four years."

In May this year, crude oil imports grew by 18.57 per cent to USD 10.1 billion from USD 8.5 billion in the same month last year. Non-oil imports also went up by 71 per cent to USD 30.7 billion in the month under the review from USD 17.9 billion in the same period last fiscal.

During April-May, exports increased by 45.28 per cent to USD 49.7 billion, while imports grew by 33.3 per cent to USD 73.7 billion.

The trade deficit during the first two months of the current fiscal stood at USD 23.9 billion.

During 2010-11, the country's total merchandise exports aggregated USD 246 billion, growing by an impressive 37.55 per cent.

Imports in the last fiscal stood at USD 350 billion, down by 21.6 per cent, and the trade deficit was USD 104 billion.

Agencies