india, external trade, merchandise trade, india exports, imports, trade deficit, gold imports, engg imports, fiscal deficit, nirmala
India's engineering exports grew 14.8 per cent, while apparel exports contracted by 1.4 per cent and pharmaceuticals fell 2.25 per cent.ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Export growth slowed in June to 4.39 per cent, even as the country managed to see ten straight months of rise in outbound trade, according to data issued by the commerce and industry ministry.

Growth has been down since March, when it hit a high of 27 per cent, the steepest in a little over five years. In May, it was eight per cent. Cumulative export in the current financial year, 2017-18, starting April 1, is about $72 billion.

Among major foreign exchange earners, engineering export grew 14.8 per cent, while most categories contracted. Although the rate of fall was minimal, apparel export contracted by 1.4 per cent, while pharmaceutical export fell by 2.25 per cent. Gems and jewellery export fell 2.7 per cent; gold import rose.

Import growth also fell in June, with inbound shipments totalling $36.52 billion, a rise of 19 per cent over the same month last year.

Much of the push to import came from gold, which more than doubled to $2.5 billion in June year-on-year; import of precious and semi-precious stones increased by 86 per cent to $3.3 billion.

The share of crude oil in import was marginally down to 20.6 per cent, from 22.2 per cent, owing to lower prices.

However, the cumulative trade deficit almost doubled in June to $40 billion.

Quick Links