India's trade deficit narrowed to $17.7 billion in December from $19.3 billion in November, even as the exports fell and imports rose, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce Friday.

Exports fell for the eighth straight month to $24.88 billion, recording a contraction of 1.9 percent in December, while imports rose by 6.26 percent to $42.5 billion on a year-on-year basis.

The cumulative values of total exports for the period of April-December 2012 stood at $214.1 billion, down 5.5 percent from $226.6 billion registered in the corresponding period a year ago.

The value of imports for the period of April-December 2012, totaled to $361.3 billion, against US $363.8 billion in the year ago period, registering a decline of 0.71 percent.

The cumulative trade deficit for the April-December period widened to $147.2 billion, compared to the $137.3 billion deficit recorded in the same period last year.

Oil Imports

Oil imports in December stood at $14.42 billion, up 23.56 percent compared to $11.6 billion in the corresponding period last year. Non-oil imports in August declined 0.87 percent to $28.12 billion, compared to $28.36 billion in the same period last year.

Oil imports for the April-December period stood at $124.5 billion and non-oil imports for the same period last year was at $236.8 billion.