India's exports declined by 33.3 per cent in March over the year-ago period, posting contraction for the sixth month in a row under the impact of a slowdown in major global markets.
Exports dropped to $11.51 billion in March last fiscal, from $17.25 billion in the same month of the previous financial year, while imports dipped 34 per cent to $15.56 billion, leaving a monthly trade deficit of $4.05 billion, according to official figures released on Friday.
Exports contracted 12.1 per cent to $12.8 billion in October 2008, showing a negative trend for the first time in five years.
For April-March 2008-09, the country's cumulative exports grew by 3.4 per cent to $168.70 billion. Growth for the first half of the fiscal was 30.9 per cent.
Imports in April-March 2008-09 went up by 14.3 per cent to $287.75 billion. The trade deficit for the period has mounted to $119.05 billion.
With the US and several European countries slipping into full-blown recession, Indian exporters have run into difficult times, especially since October.