India's merchandise exports fell 13.8 per cent in September 2009 as the decline in the country's trade extended to the 12th month, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said today.
The pace of contraction of exports, however, was arrested although exports in September 2009 were down at $13.6 billion against $15.8 billion in the same month last year, Khullar pointed out.
The slowing of the decline also gives hope of a rebound of exports from the negative trend by the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal.
"It is difficult to predict a precise timeline for exports to transit to a positive phase. But it is expected that it (trend reversal) will be towards the end of 3rd or beginning of the 4th quarter of the current year," Khullar added.
Exports during August 2009 were down 19.4 per cent at $14,289 million compared to the level of $17,724 million in August 2008 and down 9.2 per cent in rupee terms at Rs69,066 crore compared to Rs76,103 crore in August 2008.
Overseas shipments during the first half of the current fiscal (April-September 2009-10) shrank 28.5 per cent to $77.9 billion from $108.9 billion in the same period last year.
India's exports started declining in October 2008 under the impact of the global slump and the country's exports plunged as much as 39.2 per cent in May this year.
Since June, however, with the return of the global business confidence, the declining trend got arrested, although at a slower pace.
For the April-September 2009-10 period, shipments contracted by 28.5 per cent with smaller decline of 3-6 per cent as sectors like gems and jewellery, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, iron ore, marine products, and man-made yarns showed recovery.