Contracting for the seventh month in a row, India's exports dipped by 15.82 per cent in June to $22.28 billion due to global slowdown and dip in crude oil prices that impacted shipments of petroleum products.
In June 2014, the merchandise exports had stood at $26.47 billion. The last time exports registered a positive growth was in November 2014 when shipments expanded at a rate of 7.27 per cent.
Imports, too, declined by 13.40 per cent to $33.11 billion in June 2015 due to fall in oil and gold shipments.
Trade deficit narrowed to $10.82 billion in the month under review compared with $11.76 billion in June 2014, according to the data released by the Commerce Ministry.
The main exporting sectors which reported negative growth include petroleum products (about 53 per cent), engineering (about 5.5 per cent), leather and leather goods (about 5 per cent), and chemicals (1.26 per cent) in June.
Exporters expressed serious concerns over the continuous decline and said the government should act fast in taking measures to help arrest the dip.
"It is matter of serious and grave concern as the decline is continuing. Government should immediately engage with the stakeholders to understand the reason behind decline and take steps to overcome the situation," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President S C Ralhan said.
The prime reason continues to be low prices of crude, metal and commodity, and slowdown in western markets, he said.
Also, oil imports dropped 34.97 per cent in June to $8.67 billion. Non-oil imports too came down by 1.85 per cent to $24.44 billion.
Gold imports too dipped by almost 37 per cent to $1.96 billion in June.
During April-June, exports fell 16.75 per cent to $66.69 billion. Imports too declined 12.61 per cent to $98.91 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $32.22 billion.
In March 2015, exports had contracted 21 per cent, the biggest fall in a month in the last six years.