India's exports continued to decline for the fifth month, contracting 10.78 per cent to $23.69 billion in September due to slowdown in the western economies.
The exports in September 2011 had totalled $26.56 billion.
However, imports grew by 5 per cent to $41.77 billion from $39.75 billion in September 2011, resulting in a trade deficit of $18 billion for the month.
The decline in the country's shipments comes amid India's [ Images ] economic growth slipping to 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal and subdued industrial output.
In April-September, too, the exports dipped by 6.79 per cent to $143.6 billion from $154.1 billion in the same period last year.
During the first six months of the fiscal, imports contracted by 4.36 per cent to $232.92 billion. Trade deficit during the period stood at $89.25 billion.
Oil imports during September increased 30.74 per cent to $14.09 billion from $10.77 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April-September 2012-13 grew by 6.78 per cent to $80.78 billion.
Non-oil imports during the month under review dipped 4.46 per cent to $27.68 billion. During the first six months of the fiscal, the imports contracted by 9.38 per cent to $152.14 billion.