Merchandise exports fell for the 13th consecutive month in December, the longest decline surpassing the nine-month contraction in the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The decline was, however, much less than 24 per cent witnessed in November, giving comfort on the industrial growth front.
Besides this, exports fell by 14.75% to $22.29 billion against $26.15 billion in December 2014, according to data released by the commerce ministry on Monday.

Commenting on the issue, a Commerce Ministry Official told the media, “During April-December period of the current fiscal, exports dipped 18% to $ 196.6 billion as compared to $ 239.9 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.” 

Furthermore, the main export sectors including engineering, petroleum products and gems and jewelry have recorded negative growth in December, 2015, he added.
Moreover, as per the data, gold imports in December also more than doubled to $ 3.80 billion as compared to $ 1.36 billion in the year-ago period.

The Commerce secretary, ‘Ms. Rita Teaotia’ said, “India is well integrated with the world economy and there will be a global impact of slowdown on exports”. She further said that finance ministry will take a call on whether fresh measures are required or not.

India’s trade deficit widened in December as gold imports nearly trebled, due to a rush from traders to take advantage of lower prices. Trade deficit rose in December- suggesting surge in Yellow metal imports contributed to a higher gap.

The government said that a further increase in import duty may not be a solution. “There is already a high duty now. So, doing this can in fact become counter-productive, more smuggling avenues, etc,” additional secretary in the commerce department Arvind Mehta said.

Further industry said, that falling exports were a major challenge and there may not be an immediate respite. “Overall, we do not see the trade situation improving much in the coming months as global demand is expected to remain weak.”