• Tuesday, June 18, 2024


China takes over US to become India’s largest trading partner

Imports from China rose by 3.24 percent to £80.1 billion. (Photo credit: iStock)

By: Vivek Mishra

China emerged as India’s largest trading partner in 2023-24, with £93.2 billion in two-way trade, slightly surpassing the US, according to data from the economic think tank GTRI.

Bilateral trade between India and the US was £93.1 billion in the same period. Previously, the US was India’s top trading partner in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

India’s exports to China increased by 8.7 per cent to £13.1 billion in the last fiscal year. Sectors that saw significant growth in exports to China included iron ore, cotton yarn/fabrics/madeups, handloom, spices, fruits and vegetables, plastic, and linoleum. Imports from China rose by 3.24 per cent to £80.1 billion.

In contrast, India’s exports to the US declined by 1.32 per cent to £61 billion in 2023-24, down from £61.9 billion in 2022-23. Imports from the US fell by about 20 percent to £32.1 billion.

The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) noted that from fiscal year 2019 to FY2024, India’s trade with its top 15 trading partners experienced significant changes, affecting exports, imports, and trade balances across various sectors.

GTRI added that while China’s exports to India saw a marginal decline of 0.6 percent, from £13.2 billion to £13.1 billion, imports from China surged by 44.7 per cent, from £55.4 billion to £80.1 billion.

“This growth in imports led to an expanding trade deficit, rising from £42.2 billion in FY2019 to £67 billion in FY2024, highlighting concerns over stagnant exports amidst rising imports,” said GTRI Founder Ajay Srivastava.

Conversely, trade with the US grew, with exports increasing by 47.9 per cent from £41.3 billion to £61 billion. Imports from the US also grew by 14.7 per cent, from £28 billion to £32.1 billion. This resulted in a larger trade surplus for India, which increased from £13.3 billion to £28.9 billion.

Commerce ministry data showed that China was India’s top trading partner from 2013-14 to 2017-18 and again in 2020-21. Before China, the UAE was India’s largest trading partner. The US held the top position in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

In 2023-24, the UAE was India’s third-largest trading partner with £65.8 billion, followed by Russia (£51.7 billion), Saudi Arabia (£34.2 billion), and Singapore (£28 billion).



Related Stories