China Pips US to Re-Emerge as India’s Biggest Trading Partner Amid Surge in Imports
© AP Photo / Kin CheungShipping containers are seen at a port of Kwai Tsing Container Terminals in Hong Kong, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021
© AP Photo / Kin Cheung
Data released by India's Commerce Ministry in May showed that the US overtook China as India’s biggest trading partner in 2021-22. The official data indicated overall annual trade with Beijing was $115.42 billion, while with the US it was $119.42 billion. However, Beijing contested Indian officials, insisting it was Delhi’s biggest trading partner.
China re-emerged as India’s biggest trading partner in the month of July, with two-way trade with India amounting to $11.49 billion, data released by the Indian Commerce Ministry has revealed.
India imported around $10.2 billion worth of goods and merchandise from China in July, which was 45.35 percent more than what New Delhi imported in July 2021, as per official figures. The data also showed that New Delhi’s imports from China in July grew by 16 percent as compared to June, when New Delhi imported $8.8 billion worth of Chinese goods.
As per the ministry, major items imported from China in July were coal variants (coke and semi-coke), antibiotics, fertilizers, silver, and electrical equipment.
Indian exports to China declined in July by 44 percent as compared to June. Overall, India’s trade deficit with China constituted a third of its overall trade deficit, per the data.
India’s overall foreign imports in July were $66 billion, as compared to $46 billion last July.
On the other hand, New Delhi conducted two-way trade of nearly $11.08 billion with the US in July, with New Delhi’s exports to Washington constituting a major chunk of bilateral trade.
As per official statistics, India imported $4.3 billion worth of goods and services from the US in July 2022, which was 30.65 percent more than its imports from the world’s biggest economy last July. India’s overall exports to the US increased marginally by 0.45 percent year-on-year this July and stood at $6.78 billion.
The US also remained India’s largest trading partner for the April-July period, with two-way trade totaling $46.2 billion. Bilateral trade with Beijing, on the other hand, for the same period stood at $40.4 billion.
India’s trade deficit with Beijing and its reliance on Chinese imports, which hit a historic high of $94.16 billion last year, have been described as a major concern for New Delhi in view of the border tensions with China.
As a means of shedding its reliance on Chinese imports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has sought to expand international engagement with other countries.
In recent months, New Delhi has inked interim free trade deals with Australia and the UAE, while it is negotiating more such agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union.