The country's exports in December 2021 surged 38.91 per cent on an annual basis to $37.81 billion, the highest-ever monthly figure, due to healthy performance by sectors such as engineering, textiles and chemicals, even as the trade deficit widened to $21.68 billion during the month, government data showed on Friday.
Imports in December 2021 also increased 38.55 per cent to $59.48 billion, on account of an increase in petroleum and crude oil imports, which soared 67.89 per cent to $16.16 billion.
Gold imports expanded by 5.43 per cent to $4.72 billion.
During April-December 2021-22, exports rose 49.66 per cent to $301.38 billion.
Imports during the period surged 68.91 per cent to $443.82 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $142.44 billion, the data showed. The trade deficit in December 2020 was $15.72 billion.
"Merchandise exports in December 2021 were $37.81 billion, as compared to $27.22 billion in December 2020, exhibiting a positive growth of 38.91 per cent. As compared to December 2019, exports in December 2021 exhibited a positive growth of 39.47 per cent," the commerce ministry said in a statement.
In December 2021, exports of engineering goods grew 38.41 per cent to $9.8 billion, followed by petroleum products (151 per cent to $5.88 billion), gems and jewellery (16.4 per cent to about $3 billion), chemicals (26.86 per cent to $2.66 billion) and ready-made garments of all textiles (22.63 per cent to $1.46 billion).
The data also stated that the estimated value of services export for December 2021 was $20.07 billion, an increase of 5.26 per cent over the same month of 2020. The imports also rose by 15.76 per cent to $12.87 billion.
"The estimated value of services export for April-December 2021 is $177.68 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 18.39 per cent vis-a-vis April-December 2020 ($150.09 billion).
"The estimated value of services imports for April-December 2021 is $103.30 billion exhibiting a positive growth of 21.52 per cent vis-à-vis April-December 2020 ($85 billion)," it added.
Commenting on the numbers, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President A Sakthivel said that looking at the current trend, India will achieve the $400-billion merchandise exports target for the fiscal.