India's exports continued to decline for the fifth month, contracting 10.78 per cent to USD 23.69 billion in September due to slowdown in the western economies.
The exports in September 2011 had totalled USD 26.56 billion.
However, imports grew by 5 per cent to USD 41.77 billion from USD 39.75 billion in September 2011, resulting in a trade deficit of USD 18 billion for the month.
The decline in the country's shipments comes amid India's economic growth slipping to 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal and subdued industrial output.
In April-September, too, the exports dipped by 6.79 per cent to USD 143.6 billion from USD 154.1 billion in the same period last year.
During the first six months of the fiscal, imports contracted by 4.36 per cent to USD 232.92 billion. Trade deficit during the period stood at UD 89.25 billion.
Oil imports during September increased 30.74 per cent to USD 14.09 billion from USD 10.77 billion in the corresponding period last year. Oil imports during April-September 2012-13 grew by 6.78 per cent to USD 80.78 billion.
Non-oil imports during the month under review dipped 4.46 per cent to USD 27.68 billion. During the first six months of the fiscal, the imports contracted by 9.38 per cent to USD 152.14 billion.