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India's January trade deficit widens to highest since May 2013

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's trade deficit in January was the widest in more than 4-1/2 years as a surge in the country's and coal import bill outweighed a rise in exports, government data showed on Thursday.

The trade deficit grew to $16.3 billion in January, the highest monthly figure since May 2013, compared with $14.88 billion for December.

The South Asian nation's imports in January rose 26.10 percent compared with the same month last year to $40.68 billion, data from the showed.

Exports during the month were up 9.07 percent year on year to $24.38 billion, the data showed.

The world's third-biggest crude consumer shipped in and refined products worth $11.66 billion in January, about 42.6 percent more than a year ago, due to a surge in global prices and as expanded its refining capacity.

Gold imports by the world's biggest consumer of the after declined 22 percent in January, the government data showed.

Separately, precious metals consultancy GFMS has said that gold imports in January were at a 17-month low as prices rebounded and buyers postponed purchases.

The trade deficit has widened by about $42.8 billion in the first 10 months of the financial year that began last April to $131.15 billion. That could put pressure on the current account deficit of Asia's third-largest economy.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 20:08 IST