According to preliminary data released by the Ministry of Commerce, the trade deficit in December expanded to $ 15.71 billion, as imports increased by 7.6 percent to $ 42.6 billion. India's exports slipped marginally by 0.8 percent to $ 26.89 billion in December 2020, contracting for the third straight month, due to declines in sectors such as petroleum, leather and marine products, according to government statistics. According to preliminary data released by the Commerce Ministry on Saturday, the trade deficit in December expanded to USD 15.71 billion, as imports rose by 7.6 percent to $ 42.6 billion. Exports were $ 27.11 billion in December 2019, while imports stood at $ 39.5 billion. Exports were down by 8.74 per cent in November 2020. The country's merchandise exports contracted by 15.8 percent to $200.55 billion between April and December 2020-21, compared to $238.27 billion in the same period last fiscal year. Imports decreased by 29.08 percent to $ 258.29 billion during the nine months of the current fiscal, compared to $ 364.18 billion in April-December 2019-20."India is therefore a major supplier in December 2020, with a budget deficit of $ 15.71 billion, as contrasted to a trade deficit of USD 12.49 billion, expanded by 25.78 per cent," the ministry said in a statement. Oil imports decreased by 10.37 percent to $ 9.61 billion in December 2020. During this fiscal period from April to December, imports dropped by 44.46 per cent to U$ 53.71 billion, it added. Oil meals (192.60 percent), iron ore (69.26 percent), carpet (21.12 percent), pharmaceuticals (17.44 percent), spices (17.06 percent), electronic goods (16.44 percent), fruits and vegetables (12.82 percent), and chemicals (12.82 percent) are major export commodities that reported positive growth during the month under examination (10.73 per cent). Cotton yarn/fabrics/made-ups, handloom products (10.09 percent), rice (8.60 percent), meat, dairy and poultry products (6.79 percent), gems and jewellery (6.75 percent), tea (4.47 percent) and engineering goods (6.75 percent) are the other goods in the positive terrain (0.12 per cent). Petroleum goods (-40.47 per cent), oil seeds (-31.80 per cent), leather and leather (-17.74 per cent), coffee (-16.39 per cent), ready-made garments for all textiles (-15.07 per cent), man-made yarn/fabrics/made-ups (-14.61 per cent), marine products (-14.27 per cent), cashew (-12.04 per cent), plastic and linoleum (-7.43 per cent), and marine products (-14.27 per cent) (-4.95 per cent). Pulses (245.15 percent), gold (81.82 percent), palm oil (43.50 percent), chemicals (23.30 percent), electronic products (20.90 percent), machine tools (13.46 percent), pearls, precious and semi-precious stones (7.81 percent), and fertilisers (7.81 percent) are the main import commodities with positive growth in December 2020 (1.42 per cent). Silver, newsprint, transport equipment, cotton raw and waste, coal, coke and briquettes are sectors which reported negative growth in December 2020.