New Delhi (Bureau/Agencies): India's exports rose by 32.5 per cent year-on-year to USD 20.6 billion in January, 2011 on account of increasing demand in American and Latin American countries. But the sluggish pace of demand in European markets is worrying the government.

During April-December period of 2010-11, the outbound shipments grew by 29.4 per cent to USD 184.6 billion over the year-ago period. This is a saving grace for merchants whose traditional orders come from European markets.

"It is a huge jump. Export performance is pretty good. By February, we should cross USD 200 billion," Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters.

Imports in January, 2011 is estimated to increase by 13.1 per cent to USD 28.6 billion over the same period last year, leaving a trade deficit of USD 8 billion during the month under review, Khullar said.

During April-January, 2010-11, imports grew by 17.6 per cent to USD 273.6 billion. "The import numbers will be revised," Khullar added.

In the first 10 months of the financial year, trade deficit stood at USD 89 billion. Sectors that registered healthy growth during April-January, 2010-11 include gems and jewellery, engineering and petroleum and oil lubricants, he added.