ALGIERS, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Algeria posted a trade deficit of $12.62 billion for the first 11 months of 2015, against a $5.45 billion surplus a year ago, after a 42.4 percent fall in energy earnings caused by the drop in crude oil prices, official data showed on Monday.

Oil and gas exports, which account for about 94 percent of total sales abroad, tumbled to $32.36 billion in the first 11 months of 2015 from $56.2 billion a year earlier.

The value of overall exports in the period declined by 41.9 percent year on year to $34.37 billion, while imports were down 12.45 percent to $46.99 billion.

The North African OPEC member country has been trying to reduce imports after the crude price slide, which it expects will cut its energy earnings by 50 percent this year.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((;))