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Exports expand 36.2% in April; Govt says don't get excited

NEW DELHI: The economic crisis-worn exports sector posted a staggering 36.2 per cent growth in April to USD 16.9 billion, but the government tempered the euphoria saying growth appeared large due to last year's poor showing. Last April, exports had shrunk nearly 30 per cent to USD 12.4 billion in line with a nine per cent contraction in global trade as a result of a worldwide financial crisis. India's exports contracted for 13 straight months starting October 2008, before turning positive in November'09. Barring food grains and handicrafts, all other sectors such as textiles, gems and jewellery and marine products performed well in April. "Don't get carried away by these numbers... because base was low and that's why you have an increase in percentage terms. You are still running below the export level in April 2008-09," Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters here today. Low base effect makes even a nominal increase now appear large because the numbers in the year-ago comparable period were too low. Imports too increased in April by 43.3 per cent to USD 27.3 billion from USD 19.1 billion a year ago. Trade deficit for April was USD 10.4 billion against USD 6.7 billion in the year-ago period. Oil imports increased to USD 8.1 billion against USD 4.7 billion in April last year.