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A woman holds gold bangles at a jewellery shop in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata October 14, 2009 (representational image).Reuters file

India is exporting more gems and jewellery to the world, even as its imports of gold — a key input for jewellery — have declined over the past four months.

In May, gems and jewellery exports rose 24 percent to worth $3.71 billion as against $2.98 billion in May last year. The previous month saw exports rise 17.23 percent to $3.45 billion when compared with  $2.94 billion in April 2015.

On the contrary, gold imports by India fell for the fourth straight month in May to $1.47 billion as against $2.42 billion in the corresponding month last year, a contraction of 39 percent. However, it was up from April when the world's second-largest consumer of the yellow metal imported gold worth $1.24 billion.

Meanwhile, total exports from India declined for the 18th consecutive month in May, a reflection of persisting weakness in the global economy.

Exports stood at $22.17 billion in May, a marginal fall of 0.79 percent from $22.34 billion in May last year. Imports shrank 13.16 percent to $28.44 billion, year-on-year, leaving a deficit of $6.27 billion, a three-month high.

Export of engineering goods rose 2.2 percent to $5.75 billion. Petroleum product shipment declined 15.5 percent to $2 billion last month, indicating the continuing weakness in commodity prices globally.