In 2022, India’s imports from China touched a record high, while exports to China fell to a five-year low. This imbalance has further widened the trade deficit. Electrical machinery and electronic appliances were the most imported goods by India from China. India’s dependency on China for such goods has remained high for quite some time now. However. India is not alone as dependency on imports from China has also grown among Indian neighbouring countries and other BRICS nations.
The chart shows the trade value of goods imported from China on the left axis. China’s share in India’s total imports is plotted on the right axis. In value terms, imports from China soared to a record $94.7 billion in 2022. When considered as a share of India’s total imports, it formed 14% in 2022, though the share peaked in 2016
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The chart shows the trade value of goods exported to China on the left axis. China’s share in India’s total exports is on the right axis. In value terms, India’s export to China was at a five-year low (till November 2022). Its share in total exports has decreased from about 7% in 2020 to 3.4% in 2022, a level last seen in 2016
Most exported items
The chart shows the 20 most exported goods by India to China in the past three years combined– 2022, 2021 and 2020. Of these, the most exported items were related to categories such as ores, mineral fuels and oils and iron and steel. Petroleum oils, iron ores, shrimps and prawns were the most exported items. The bigger the size of the square, the higher the value of the exported items.
Most imported goods
The chart shows the 20 most imported goods by India from China in the past three years — 2022, 2021 and 2020. Of these, the most imported items were related to electronic machinery and equipment, mechanical appliances, organic chemicals and fertilizers. Laptops, electronic integrated circuits and telephone sets and parts were the most imported goods. The bigger the size of the square, the higher the value
The chart shows India’s dependency on China’s imports (in % terms) in two different time periods 2011 and 2021 across select nations. Dependency on imports from China increased among India’s neighbours– Pakistan and Sri Lanka– and BRICS nations, namely Russia, Brazil and South Africa. It remained unchanged in the U.S. and increased slightly in the U.K. All figures are in %.
The charts show India’s dependency on China for select imported goods (in % terms). In the case of goods like laptops and semiconductor devices, dependency has remained high. But in items like urea and parts of cellular phones, dependency dropped but is now on a rising trend.
Source: UN Comtrade Database, Ministry of Commerce and Industry