In January, India's exports fell by 1.66 percent to $25.97 billion, the sixth straight month of contraction, on account of a significant fall in shipments of petroleum, plastic, carpet, gems and jewellery, and leather products.
Trade deficit to a seven-month high of $15.17 billion, according to the government data released on Friday, as imports also fell for the eighth consecutive month (down by 0.75 percent to $41.14 billion) in January. In June 2019, the trade deficit aggregated at $ 15.28 billion.
Gold imports declined by about 9 percent to $1.58 billion during the month under review.
18 out of the 30 key sectors showed negative growth in exports during the month.
Shipments of petroleum products, plastic, carpet, gems and jewellery, and leather products contracted by 7.42 percent, 10.62 percent, 5.19 percent, 6.89 percent, and 7.57 4 percent, respectively, in January.
India's outbound shipments have remained subdued so far, in the current financial year and may have a bearing on the overall economic growth, which is pegged at 5 percent.
Cumulatively, in the April 2019-January 2020 period, exports were down 1.93 percent to $265.26 billion, while imports contracted by 8.12 percent to $398.53 billion and trade deficit narrowed to $133.27 billion as against $163.27 billion in the same period of the previous year.
Earlier this week, government data showed that industrial output declined by 0.3 percent in December 2019 due to poor performance, mainly by manufacturing.
In January, while oil imports rose 15.27 percent to $12.97 billion, non-oil imports fell by 6.72 percent to $28.17 billion.