The country's exports jumped by 60.29 per cent to $34.45 billion in March even as the outbound shipments contracted by 7.26 per cent during the full 2020-21 fiscal to $290.63 billion.
Imports too grew by 53.74 per cent to $48.38 billion in March, but dipped by 18 per cent to $389.18 billion during April-March 2020-21, according to the government data released on Thursday.
Trade deficit during March 2021 widened to $13.93 billion from $9.98 billion in March 2020.
The trade deficit during the full fiscal, however, narrowed to $98.56 billion as against $161.35 billion during 2019-20, the data showed.
Product categories that recorded positive growth during March include oilmeals (230.4 per cent), iron ore (194.89 per cent), jute manufacturing including floor covering (105.26 per cent), electronic goods (91.98 per cent), carpet (89.84 per cent), gems and jewellery (78.93 per cent), engineering goods (71.3 per cent), rice (66.77 per cent), spices (60.42 per cent), and meat, dairy and poultry products (52.79 per cent).
Pharmaceuticals (48.49 per cent), chemicals (46.5 per cent), marine products (40.81 per cent), petroleum products (35.52 per cent), coffee (23.27 per cent), and tea (8 per cent) were also among the segments that recorded growth.
Sectors that saw negative growth during March are oilseeds (-6.45 per cent) and cashew (-1.99 per cent).
Import sectors which recorded negative growth during the month include silver, transport equipment, pulses and fertilsiers.
Oil imports in March grew by 2.23 per cent to $10.27 billion in March. During April-March 2020-21, the imports dipped by 36.92 per cent to $82.35 billion.
Gold imports during the month increased to $8.49 billion from $1.22 billion in March 2020.
Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters