New Delhi: India’s trade deficit widened to its highest in more than five years in June, the trade ministry said on Friday, driven largely by a surge in oil imports.

Though merchandise exports rose 17.57% year-on-year in June, the trade deficit widened to $16.6 billion due to a rise in oil imports that surged 56.61% to $12.73 billion.

In May the trade deficit stood at $14.62 billion.

Merchandise exports last month rose to $27.7 billion from a year ago, while imports rose 21.31% on year to $44.3 billion, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

India’s gold imports fell 2.8% year-on-year to $2.39 billion in June from a year ago, the statement said.