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India's exports decline for fifth straight month in December, trade deficit narrows

Cargo containers are seen stacked outside the container terminal of JNPT in Mumbai

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's merchandise exports shrank 1.8% in December, falling for the fifth straight month, while the trade deficit narrowed to $11.25 billion from a year ago, helped by lower oil imports, the Trade Ministry said in a statement said on Wednesday.

Merchandise exports fell to $27.36 billion in December compared with a year earlier, while imports were down 8.83% to $38.61 billion, the data showed.

India's trade deficit stood at $14.49 billion in December 2018, the statement said.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Alison Williams)