India's merchandise trade deficit in December was largely flat at $23.76 billion compared with $23.89 billion in the previous month, according to a Reuters calculation based on export and import data released by the government on Monday.
India's December merchandise exports rose to $34.48 billion from $31.99 billion in the previous month, and imports rose to $58.24 billion from $55.88 billion last month, according to government data.
India's April-December exports rose 9.1% on year to $332.76 billion, while imports were up 25% to $551.7 billion, the government said.
India's goods exports have been hit this year while high energy prices have led to a rise in imports, on the back of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
India's April-December oil imports rose to $163.91 billion from $112.56 billion in the prior year, the government said.
However, India sees new export markets growing for petroleum products from India in the Netherlands and Brazil, Sunil Barthwal, country's trade secretary told reporters.
“Because of Russia-Ukraine war we were able to get crude oil at a much cheaper rate and we used our refining capacity to the hilt by refining it and then exporting,” Barthwal said.
Russia has emerged as one of the top oil exporters to India since the war started as the Asian country lapped up discounts offered by Moscow, which has been under western sanctions.
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