Sectors that helped in pushing exports in June include textiles (14.39 percent), petroleum products (38.3 percent), engineering (21.57 percent), leather (15 percent), marine products (27.49 percent), oil seeds (44.4 percent) and tobacco (31 percent).
    
Exports in June stood at USD 26.47 billion as compared to USD 24.02 billion in the same month last year.

According to exporters body Fieo, outbound shipments have registered double digit growth on account of improvement in the global demand.
    
"Demand is improving in advanced as well as in emerging markets. The figure is encouraging and we expect it to continue. This fiscal export will be better than the previous fiscal," Fieo President Rafeeq Ahmed said.
    
Cumulatively, in the April-June period too, exports grew by 9.31 percent to USD 80.11 billion. However, the growth in exports during the month under review was low as compared to May when it recorded a growth of 12.4 percent. Trade deficit too was marginally higher in June as against USD 11.23 billion in May and USD 11.28 billion in June 2013.
    
After registering a negative growth since October last year, gold imports in June jumped 65.13 percent to USD 3.12 billion from USD 1.88 billion during the same month last year.
    
In October 2013, gold imports stood at USD 1.3 billion, registering a growth of 62.5 percent. Imports in June too increased by 8.33 percent year-on-year to USD 38.24 billion, according to the Commerce Ministry data. The weak rupee is also expected to have a positive impact on exports. The rupee depreciated by 15 paise to 60.27 against US dollar in early trade on Wednesday.

HIGHLIGHTS

•    India's exports grow by 10.22 percent to USD 26.4 billion in June this year

•    Gold imports up by 65.13 percent to USD 3.12 billion in June this year

•    Trade deficit marginally up to USD 11.76 billion in June 2014 as against USD 11.28 billion in the same month last year

Surging gold imports drive up June trade deficit to 11-month high

A surge in gold imports in June widened India's trade deficit to an 11-month high, adding to the uncertainty from global oil prices that could pile more pressure on its current account balance.

The trade deficit jumped to USD 11.76 billion last month from USD 11.23 billion in May, government data showed on Wednesday, boosted by a 65 percent annual rise in gold imports.

The bullion is India's second-biggest import item after oil and was one of the principal factors in putting it on the brink of a full-scale balance of payments crisis last year.

In a desperate bid to trim a gaping current account deficit, India last year increased import duties on gold and imposed a rule that required a fifth of all bullion imports is re-exported.

Those measures had crimped supply and pushed up premiums in the domestic market, sparking a rise in smuggling. However, a strong rebound in gold imports will likely mean the curbs stay in place for some time.

"The industry has been demanding for removal of curbs on gold imports but a high trade deficit in the backdrop of geo-political tension could make the government a little more wary," said Radhika Rao, an economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley surprised bullion markets by keeping the import duty on gold and silver unchanged at 10 percent in his maiden budget last week.

More customs cooperation to boost intra-BRICS trade: FIEO

Enhanced customs cooperation, liberalisation in the visa regime and further simplification of trade procedure will help boost intra-BRICS trade, FIEO said.
    
"Focus is required on issues like customs cooperation and trade facilitation to boost intra-BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) trade," Ahmed said in a statement.
    
Simplification of procedures in obtaining work permits and business visas would definitely encourage Indian businessmen to increase trade and investment with other members of BRICS, he said.
    
Another major impediment is the lack of direct shipping lines and absence of bank branches in each other´s country, he said adding "provision of direct shipping will in particular make a major impact on intensifying our business ties by significantly cutting freight costs and delivery time".
    
He added that BRICS economies have a wider role to play in reviving the world economy.
    
In 2013-14, India's trade with other BRICS members was USD 92 billion.
    
"India has a negative trade balance with BRICS with imports of USD 64.6 billion and exports of 27.4 billion," he said.
    
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attended the meet of Trade Ministers of BRICS in Brazil on Tuesday.
    
Intra-BRICS trade is about USD 230 billion and has the potential of more than doubling to USD 500 billion by 2015.

JPN/Agencies

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