Exports fell 4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to $22.3 billion (Rs 1,21,138.53 crore) in November, while imports jumped to $41.5 billion (Rs 2,25,421.18 crore).
Total oil imports in November stood at $14.5 billion compared to $12.4 billion in November 2011, while non oil imports stood at $27 billion compared to $26.6 billion in November 2011.
Gold imports fell in November, and petroleum and chemicals products remained the most imported products.
Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao said some measures to boost trade are likely by the end of the week.
Brokerage Nomura said the country's external sector remains in a "precarious state" after the trade deficit data was announced
"The improvement in India’s trade deficit in November is not surprising since the seasonal (festive-related) rise in gold imports usually reverses in November. However, the deficit is larger than we had expected ($18.3 billion) as the momentum in export demand has weakened and the fall in oil imports has partly been offset by higher non-oil import growth," the brokerage said in a note.
A high trade deficit despite a sharp domestic slowdown reflects weak global demand, export bans, as well as rising commodity import prices, it added.