Hit by weak global demand, India's merchandise exports have declined for the 13th month in a row in December, 2015. The country exported goods valued at $22.29 billion, down 14.75% compared to December 2014, when exports stood at $26.15 billion.

On the upside, falling crude oil prices helped India's December import bill to fall yet again, albeit at a modest 3.88% to $33.96 billion, from $35.33 billion in December 2014.

However, the monthly trade deficit was $11.66 billion, up from $9.17 billion. The deficit was $9.7 billion in November 2015.

The cumulative value of merchandise exports for the period April to December 2015 was $196.6 billion, a drop of 18% over $239.92 billion during April to December 2014.

The country's imports too contracted on a cumulative basis during the first nine months of fiscal 2016. Inward shipments were down 15.87% to $295.81 billion, from $351.61 billion during April to November 2014. 

The trade deficit for the first nine months this fiscal was $99.20 billion, down from $111.68 billion in the corresponding period last fiscal.

Falling crude oil prices resulted in oil imports dropping 33% to $6.65 billion in December 2015 from $9.96 billion. The overall impact of the slump in oil prices has enabled India to cut its oil imports for the nine-month period (April to December 2015) to $68 billion, a sharp fall of 41% from $116.55 billion during the corresponding period last fiscal.

On a cumulative basis, non-oil imports saw a modest decline of 3.1% at $227.74 billion, compared to $235.05 billion during April to December 2014.