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India's Trade Overview

INDIA IN WORLD TRADE

TOP SOURCES OF IMPORT

India’s top 5 import partners over 5 years have been US, UAE, China, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

On the whole, imports have increased from US$ 459.37 billion in 2014 to US$ 507.58 billion in 2018 especially due to a huge increase from Hong Kong.

India’s total import value (US$ billion)

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
World 459.37 390.74 356.7 444.05 507.58
China 58.23 61.6 60.48 71.97 73.74
United States of America 20.44 20.46 20.4 24.1 32.64
Saudi Arabia 32.7 21.35 18.46 21.06 28.36
United Arab Emirates 27.29 20.28 19.24 23.09 26.78
Iraq 16.07 11.3 9.97 15.31 23.06
Switzerland 21.13 21.11 14.86 20.39 18.03
Korea, Republic of 13.44 13.09 12.21 16.11 16.36
Indonesia 15.18 13.90 12.19 16.23 16.03
Hong Kong 6.14 5.96 7.12 11.00 15.90
Iran, Islamic Republic of 11.25 6.23 8.25 11.06 14.77

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s imports from USA increased from US$ 20.44 billion in 2014 to US$ 32.64 billion in 2018, due to doubling in India’s import of natural or cultured pearls during the period.

In addition to this, imports of mineral fuels and oils have increased from US$ 1.54 billion in 2014 to US$ 6.72 billion in 2018.

Imports of electrical machinery and equipment, organic chemicals and machinery and mechanical appliances have shown an increase in imports in 2018 as compared to previous years.

India’s import value from US (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from US  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 20.44 20.46 20.40 24.10 32.64 6
’71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones 3.29 3.45 1.99 2.79 6.95 11
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 1.54 1.32 1.36 3.27 6.72 4
’84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers 2.85 2.97 3.97 4.12 3.97 9
’85 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts 1.63 1.57 1.71 1.65 1.80 3
29 Organic chemicals 0.80 0.80 0.76 1.09 1.73 8

Source: ITC Trade Map

China is the most significant contributor to India’s trade deficit. India’s imports from China have shown an increasing trend from US$ 58.23 billion in 2014 to US$ 73.74 billion in 2018.The major products contributing to this increase are electrical machinery and equipment and machinery and mechanical appliances. Organic chemicals, plastics and articles of iron or steel have also shown an increase in imports.

India’s import value from China (US$ billion) and share

Product code Product India’s imports from China  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 58.23 61.60 60.48 71.97 73.74 15
85 Electrical machinery and equipment 15.98 19.35 20.87 27.54 23.35 45
’84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boiler 9.77 10.58 10.73 12.81 13.65 32
’29 Organic chemicals 6.26 6.16 5.59 6.57 8.52 38
’39 Plastics and articles thereof 1.72 1.61 1.84 2.14 2.69 18
’73 Articles of iron or steel 1.41 1.22 1.20 1.38 1.72 35

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s imports from UAE were at US$ 27.29 billion in 2014 and declined to US$ 26.78 billion in 2018.The major items in the import basket from UAE are mineral fuels, plastics & articles, copper and articles and natural or cultured pearls. Imports in mineral fuels have declined during the period, while plastic and copper imports have increased.

India’s import value from UAE (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from United Arab of Emirates  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 27.29 20.28 19.24 23.09 26.78 5
27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 14.42 8.55 8.06 9.30 12.77 8
71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones 8.59 8.18 7.70 10.01 7.49 12
39 Plastics and articles 0.45 0.63 0.65 0.71 0.92 6
’74 Copper and articles 0.66 0.55 0.53 0.56 0.71 14
’72 Iron and steel 0.59 0.46 0.29 0.38 0.70 6

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s imports from Iraq have shown an increase from US$ 16.07 billion in 2014 to US$ 23.06 billion. The sole product contributing to this hike is the mineral fuels and oils.The other products imported from Iraq have nearly negligible share with the exception of edible fruits and nuts, which is around US$ 0.07 billion.

Table 2.12 India’s import value from Iraq (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Iraq  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 16.07 11.30 9.97 15.31 23.06 5
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 16.00 11.24 9.90 15.24 22.99 14
’08 Edible fruit and nuts 0.06 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.07 2
’41 Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.00 0
’47 Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0
’51 Wool, fine or coarse animal hair 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s import from Saudi Arabia has declined from US$ 32.70 billion in 2014 to US$ 28.36 billion in 2018.

The major reason behind this trend is the decline in imports of mineral fuels and oils in 2018 as compared to 2014, although the value is higher than 2015-17

There has been a small decline in imports of organic chemicals and plastics, whereas an increasing trend has been observed in fertilisers and aluminum.

India’s import value from Saudi Arabia (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Saudi Arabia  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 32.70 21.35 18.46 21.06 28.36 6
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 27.90 16.35 13.92 16.78 24.29 14
’29 Organic chemicals 1.35 1.20 1.51 1.70 1.22 5
’31 Fertilisers 0.53 0.74 0.42 0.47 0.89 15
’39 Plastics and articles 1.12 0.95 0.84 0.96 0.77 5
’76 Aluminum and articles 0.20 0.19 0.19 0.27 0.28 5

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s import from Switzerland has declined from US$ 21.13 billion in 2014 to US$ 18.03 billion in 2018.This trend is due to decline in imports of natural or cultured pearls from US$ 19.41 billion in 2014 to US$ 15.60 billion in 2018, which is also the heaviest product in the import basket.

Increase in imports is observed in optical, photographic ad cinematographic, pharmaceutical products and mineral fuels and oils.

India’s import value from Switzerland (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Switzerland  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 21.13 21.11 14.86 20.39 18.03 4
’71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones 19.41 19.39 13.25 18.67 15.60 24
’84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers 0.40 0.45 0.43 0.38 0.39 1
’90 Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision 0.19 0.20 0.19 0.23 0.28 3
’30 Pharmaceutical products 0.13 0.13 0.10 0.13 0.27 13
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.23 0

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s imports from South Korea have risen from US$ 13.44 billion in 2014 to US$ 16.36 billion in 2018

In all major 5 product groups imports have increased but significant contribution is due to increase in imports of iron and steel and plastics and articles.

India’s import value from South Korea (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Korea  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 13.44 13.09 12.21 16.11 16.36 3
’85 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts 2.38 2.74 2.44 3.24 2.66 5
’72 Iron and steel 1.69 1.84 1.57 2.08 2.53 21
’84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors 1.63 1.72 1.45 1.58 2.43 6
’39 Plastics and articles 1.37 1.28 1.21 1.42 1.80 12
’29 Organic chemicals 1.08 0.63 0.64 0.95 1.14 5

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s imports from Indonesia has shown a slight increase to reach US$ 16 billion in the past five years.
The most significant commodity in the import basket is animal or vegetable fats and oils though it has shown a decline in 2018 as compared to previous years.

Imports in mineral fuels and oils and ores, slag and ash have also shown a decline, while imports of miscellaneous chemical products and iron and steel have shown an increase.

India’s import value from Indonesia (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Indonesia  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 15.18 13.90 12.19 16.23 16.03 3
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 7.38 5.66 4.73 6.11 6.98 4
’15 Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage product 4.10 3.70 3.70 5.22 3.78 37
’26 Ores, slag and ash 0.70 0.76 0.58 0.82 0.50 9
’38 Miscellaneous chemical products 0.23 0.19 0.30 0.42 0.49 8
’72 Iron and steel 0.08 0.22 0.20 0.29 0.45 4

Source: ITC Trade Map

Hong Kong is the only country among the top ten where the import value of the products imported by India have increased by US$ 9.76 billion from 2014 to 2018.

The major product that has contributed to this increase is electrical machinery and equipment which increased by US$ 6.38 billion in 2018 as compared to 2014. This is also the most weighed product in the import basket of India.

The other products whose imports have increased are:

• Natural or cultured pearls
• Machinery and mechanical appliances
• Optical, photographic, cinematographic
• Plastics and articles

India’s import value from Hong Kong (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Hong Kong  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 6.14 5.96 7.12 11.00 15.90 3
’85 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts 0.64 0.98 1.00 1.27 7.02 13
’71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals 4.17 4.06 5.30 8.96 6.09 9
’84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors 0.16 0.17 0.12 0.13 1.06 2
’90 Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.06 0.20 2
’39 Plastics and articles thereof 0.05 0.06 0.05 0.05 0.17 1

Source: ITC Trade Map

India’s imports from Iran have shown an increase from US$ 11.25 billion in 2014 to US$ 14.77 billion in 2018.

The most significant product in the import basket is the crude oil which has shown an increase from US$ 9.66 billion in 2014 to US$ 13.31 billion in 2018. .India’s import of crude oil declined significantly in 2015, resulting in an impact on our overall import value with Iran as it fell to US$ 6.23 billion in 2015. Imports have also increased in fertilisers and edible fruits and nuts, while imports of organic and inorganic chemicals have shown a downward trend in the past five years.

India’s import value from Iran (US$ billion) and shares

Product code Product India’s imports from Iran  
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Share in India’s imports, % (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 11.25 6.23 8.25 11.06 14.77 3
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 9.66 4.35 6.78 9.38 13.31 8
’29 Organic chemicals 0.59 0.56 0.50 0.45 0.52 2
’31 Fertilisers 0.20 0.51 0.32 0.39 0.37 6
’28 Inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals 0.42 0.37 0.21 0.27 0.26 4
’08 Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons 0.09 0.12 0.11 0.15 0.11 3

Source: ITC Trade Map

Dissecting the imports product wise, it can be seen that mineral fuels and oils depicted a declining trend from 2015-2016 but again increased in 2017-18. They are mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Natural or cultured pearls, which are majorly sourced from Switzerland, have shown a slight increase from US$ 59.84 billion in 2014 to US$ 65.03 billion in 2018.

Electrical machinery and equipment, which is majorly sourced from China, has shown an increase of approx. US$ 20 billion from 2014 to 2018.

Machinery and mechanical appliances and organic chemicals have shown an increase in imports in 2018 as compared to previous years.

India’s import of plastics and articles and iron and steel have increased mainly from South Korea and China.

Animal vegetable fats and oils imports in the past five years has hovered around US$ 10 billion. This product contributes majorly to India’s deficit with Indonesia and Ukraine.

India has increased its imports in optical, photographic and cinematographic equipment from China, USA and Germany and inorganic chemicals from China, Australia and Morocco from 2014 to 2018.

India’s import value of 10 major products (US$ billion) and shares

Code Product label 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Major importing countries Share of importing countries (2018)
‘TOTAL All products 459.37 390.74 356.7 444.05 507.58 China, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq 14.5, 6.4, 5.6, 5.3, 4.5
’27 Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation 176.95 104.65 89.31 123.03 168.59 Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, UAE 14.4, 13.6, 7.9 ,7.6
’71 Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals 59.84 59.63 48.13 74.37 65.03 Switzerland, UAE, USA, Belgium, Hong Kong 24, 11.5, 10.7, 9.4, 9.4
’85 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts 31.92 35.93 37.01 46.86 52.4 China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore 44.6, 13.4, 6.8, 5.1, 5.1
’84 Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers 31.19 32.05 32.52 36 43.23 China, Germany, USA, Japan 31.6, 10.3, 9.2, 7.7
’29 Organic chemicals 18.24 15.92 14.77 17.97 22.58 China, Singapore, USA 37.7, 8.3, 7.7
’39 Plastics and articles thereof 11.80 11.34 11.39 13.02 15.19 China, Korea, Singapore 17.7,11.9,7.6
’72 Iron and steel 11.29 11.71 8.71 9.97 11.97 Korea, China, Japan 21.1, 11.4,10.5
’15 Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products 10.64 10.48 10.49 11.88 10.16 Indonesia, Ukraine, Argentina 37.1, 18.2,15.8
’90 Optical, photographic, cinematographic 7.05 7.19 7.24 8.44 9.46 China, USA, Germany 17,16.8,13.9
’28 Inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals 5.00 5.07 4.82 5.59 7.26 China, Australia, Morocco 14.6,9.1,7.9

Source: ITC Trade Map

Source: Data Sourced from ITC Trade Map

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