(Bloomberg) -- India’s trade deficit unexpectedly widened in January, as exports contracted for a sixth straight month while the decline in imports eased.

The gap between exports and imports was at $15.2 billion last month, compared with $11.25 billion in December, data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday showed. That’s the widest gap since June and compares with the median estimate of an $11 billion deficit in a Bloomberg survey of 22 economists.

Key Insights

  • Imports declined by 0.75% from a year ago to $41.4 billion, compared with an 8.8% drop in December, while exports fell 1.7% to $26 billion, against a 1.8% decline the previous month
  • Oil imports rose 15.3% from a year earlier to $13 billion, while gold imports fell 31.5% to $1.6 billion
  • A downturn in economic growth has affected demand for imports in India in recent months, while exports have taken a hit after the U.S.-China trade war disrupted global demand
  • Global trade is further expected to take a knock from the coronavirus outbreak. Indian importers are already feeling the heat as factories of their suppliers in China are shut

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  • To read the full statement on trade numbers, click here

(Updates with chart)

To contact the reporter on this story: Vrishti Beniwal in New Delhi at vbeniwal1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net, Karthikeyan Sundaram, Atul Prakash

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