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Exports up 19.21pc in Aug; trade deficit slips to USD 17.4 bn

India's exports grew by 19.21 per cent to USD 27.84 billion in August on account of healthy growth in petroleum shipments.

"Export trade during August 2018 recorded at USD 27.84 billion, a positive growth of 19.21 per cent. Exports excluding Petroleum also reported a positive growth of 17.43 per cent," Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet.

Merchandise imports too rose by 25.41 per cent in August to USD 45.24 billion due to the rising crude oil prices, leaving a trade deficit of USD 17.4 billion.

In July, trade deficit soared to a near five-year high of USD 18.02 billion.

During April-August this fiscal, the exports recorded a growth of 16.13 per cent, while the imports during the first five months of this fiscal grew by 17.34 per cent.

The continuous fall in the value of domestic currency appears to be helping the exports. In August, the growth rate in overseas shipments grew by a three-month high of 19.21 per cent.

Earlier in May, the exports recorded a growth of 201.18 per cent.

The high trade deficit is one of the factors that dragged the rupee to below 70 levels.

The ruppe rebounded from the historic low of 72.91 to end higher by 51 paise at 72.18 against the dollar Wednesday after the finance ministry assured of steps to avert its fall to unreasonable levels.

The rupee had crashed to an all-time low of 72.91 in morning trade tracking higher crude oil prices that increased concerns of widening trade deficit at home.