Indian gold showroom
Employees wait for customers inside a gold jewelry showroom in New Delhi on Aug. 13, 2013. Reuters

India’s trade deficit expanded to $10.56 billion in October from an 18-month low of $6.76 billion in September, data released by the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday showed. The figure was higher than a $9.6 billion deficit expected by analysts, although, on an annual basis, exports continued to rise while imports dropped.

India’s exports surged 13.47 percent in October on a year-on-year basis to reach $27.27 billion, while imports fell 14.5 percent in October on a yearly basis to reach $37.8 billion.

Oil imports during October were valued at $15.2 million, a 1.7 percent annual rise, while non-oil imports in October came to $22.6 billion, 22.8 percent lower than in October 2012.

India has undertaken several measures in recent months to reduce the import of precious metals including gold, and although the trade deficit widened in October, analysts who spoke to Reuters last month had said that an average deficit range of $10 billion to $12 billion each month is a sustainable figure for India.

The trade deficit between April and October was estimated at $90.68 billion, a 19 percent drop from the deficit recorded in the corresponding period in 2012.