The country's exports declined marginally by 0.8 per cent to $26.89 billion in December 2020, due to contraction in sectors like petroleum, leather and marine products, according to preliminary data released by the commerce ministry on Saturday.
The trade deficit in December widened to $15.71 billion, as imports grew by 7.6 per cent to $42.6 billion, the data showed.
Export in December 2019 was $27.11 billion, while imports stood at $39.5 billion.
In November 2020, the exports were down by 8.74 per cent.
In April-December 2020-21, the country's merchandise exports contracted by 15.8 per cent to $200.55 billion, as compared to $238.27 billion in the same period of 2019-20.
Imports during the nine months of the current fiscal declined by 29.08 per cent to $258.29 billion, as against $364.18 billion in April-December 2019-20.
"India is thus a net importer in December 2020, with a trade deficit of $15.71 billion, as compared to a trade deficit of $12.49 billion, widened by 25.78 per cent," the ministry said in a statement.
In December 2020, oil imports declined by 10.37 per cent to $9.61 billion.
During April-December this fiscal, the imports dipped by 44.46 per cent to $53.71 billion.
Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters