New Delhi: India's exports surpassed the $300 billion target in 2011-12 despite a slowdown in demand in major markets like the United States and Europe, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said Thursday. Exports surged by 21 per cent to $303.7 billion in 2011-12, led by healthy growth in petroleum, pharmaceuticals, and engineering products, Khullar told reporters here while releasing the provisional data.
The government had set a target of $300 billion exports for the financial year ended March 31.
India managed to exceed the export target helped by product and market diversification strategy.
However, imports surged by 32.1 per cent to $488.6 billion, leaving the highest ever trade deficit of $184.9 billion. The government had set a target of $150 billion trade deficit.
"This is the highest ever trade deficit and is a serious concern," Khullar said.
Engineering exports grew by 16.9 per cent to $58.2 billion. Exports of petroleum and oil products surged by 38.5 per cent to $57.5 billion and gems and Jewellery exports increased to $45.9 billion, which is 13.3 per cent higher than the exports registered in the previous year.
Other sectors which showed healthy performance include: drugs and pharmaceuticals, up 21.9 per cent at $13.1 billion; leather, up 22.5 per cent at $4.2 billion; electronics, up 9.2 per cent at $9 billion; cotton yarn and fabric made-up, up 17.4 per cent at $7.2 billion, readymade garments yarns and fabrics, up 18 per cent at $13.7 billion and marine products up 31.4 per cent at $3.4 billion.
Imports of petroleum, oil and lubricants surged by 46.9 per cent to $155.6 billion largely due to increase in prices in international markets. This has also been the main reason for widening deficit.
Gold and silver imports jumped by 44.4 per cent to $61.5 billion. Imports of coal surged by 80.3 per cent to $17.6 billion and imports of machinery increased by 27.7 per cent to $35.4 billion.
Imports of electronics goods grew by 23 per cent to $32.7 billion; iron and steel imports increased by 15 per cent to $11.9 billion; vegetable oil imports grew by 47.5 per cent to $9.7 billion; and fertilizer imports surged by 59 per cent to $11 billion.
However, imports of gems and jewellery fell by 0.6 per cent to $31 billion.