The trade deficit has widened by more $31 billion in the first seven months of the current financial year to $86.15 billion, which could put pressure on the current account deficit of the economy.
Merchandise exports for October fell 1.12 per cent from a year earlier to $23.1 billion, dropping for the first time since August 2016, dragged down by a fall in gems, jewellery and textile exports.
A large number of exporters have been unable to meet their export orders despite a revival in global demand as billions of dollars were stuck under the new nationwide tax launched in July, exporters said.
"The refund of inputs tax credit under the new Goods and Service Tax system has been stuck since July, hitting exports," Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president of Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said.
Higher crude oil prices and a more than a quarter jump in volume from a year ago pushed petroleum imports to $9.29 billion, also helping to widen the trade gap.
Crude prices have rallied, sending Brent crude to its highest since June 2015, a worry given that the country imports most of its energy needs.
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