The country's exports declined marginally by 0.8 per cent to USD 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 USD 15.71 billion, as imports grew by 7.6 per cent to USD 42.6 billion, the data showed.
Exports in December 2019 was USD 27.11 billion, while imports stood at USD 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 USD 200.55 billion, as compared to USD 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 USD 258.29 billion, as against USD 364.18 billion in April-December 2019-20.
"India is thus a net importer in December 2020, with a trade deficit of USD 15.71 billion, as compared to a trade deficit of USD 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 USD 9.61 billion. During April-December this fiscal, the imports dipped by 44.46 per cent to USD 53.71 billion.