However, growth in exports was slower than in November, when outbound shipments rose 5.86 per cent.
Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao said export growth slowed mainly because of a drop in petroleum exports.
“It is only one product group which has contributed to (slower growth in exports) and that is petroleum products,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
There was an unplanned maintenance shutdown at Reliance Industries, one of the country’s largest exporters, Mr. Rao said.
However, lower imports helped to narrow the trade deficit to $10.1 billion in December compared with $17.5 billion in the same period of 2012.
Gold and silver imports in December dropped to $1.77 billion from $5.6 billion a year earlier, although they were higher than $1.05 billion in November.
For the April-December period, exports aggregated $230.3 billion and imports $340.3 billion while the trade deficit stood at $110 billion.