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Trade deficit narrows from seven-month high in June

July 12, 2013 15:22 IST

Trade deficit narrows from seven-month high in June

Manoj Kumar and Anurag Kotoky in New Delhi

India's trade deficit narrowed in June to $12.24 billion from a 7-month high, helped by a slowdown in gold imports, which should ease pressure on the current account balance and the beleaguered rupee.

Indians' hunger for gold has made it the second biggest item, after crude oil, in the country's import basket.

To tamp down gold demand, Indian authorities last month took a slew of measures including a 2 percentage point hike in import duty.

Those measures appear to have worked as the growth in gold and silver imports slowed to 22.8 per cent year-on-year at $2.45 billion last month.

Gold and silver imports had jumped an annual 109 percent in April and May combined as retail buyers tried to take advantage of sliding global prices.

Overall, merchandise imports rose about 0.73 per cent to $36.03 billion, the trade ministry said on Friday.

Exports fell 4.57 per cent from a year earlier to $23.79 billion, their second straight monthly fall.

Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
Tags: India

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