New Delhi, Dec 11: Continuing with its downward slide, exports dipped for the seventh month in a row in November by 4.17 per cent to $22.3 billion, a development which may prompt government to come out with incentives by the weekend to boost shipments. Exports in November, 2011 stood at $23.2 billion.
However imports grew by 6.35 per cent to $41.5 billion in November, leaving a trade deficit of $19.28 billion.
During the April-November this fiscal, the country's shipments have shrunk by 5.95 per cent to $189.2 billion.
Commenting on export slump, Commerce Secretary SR Rao said although the shipments are declining, the contraction has been slightly arrested during the first eight months of the fiscal. During April-October period, exports were down by 6.18 per cent.
"There has been a slight improvement...hopefully the government is now coming out with a new package for boosting exports in the last quarter which the minister (commerce minister Anand Sharma) will be announcing towards the end of the week," Rao told reporters here.
He also hoped that in the last quarter of the fiscal (January-March), the exports performance will pick up. The secretary added that the continuous rise in crude oil imports has pushed the import bill to $318.7 billion during April-November 2012.
"What is distressing is increased demand in petroleum products. Crude oil imports continue to be very high," he said adding it is a cause of worry as it impacts current account deficit. Oil imports in November increased by 16.7 per cent year- on-year to $14.5 billion. Non-oil imports grew by 1.5 per cent to $27 billion.