Monitoring the evolving nature of India’s imports and exports can help investors understand country’s trade patterns and identify opportunities in the domestic market. In this article, India Briefing analyzes India’s latest export and import trends.
In the fiscal year (FY)2018-19, India’s total merchandise exports registered a 9.06 percent growth to hit a new high of US$330 billion, surpassing the earlier peak of US$314 billion clocked in 2013-14 FY.
India’s total imports grew at a much higher rate at 10.41 percent, amounting to US$514 billion.
Monitoring the evolving nature of India’s imports and exports can help investors understand country’s trade patterns and identify opportunities in the domestic market. Below, India Briefing analyzes India’s export and import trends in FY2018-19.
Exports to US, Europe rise, while exports to Asia decline
The data from the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of India highlights that the exports to North American and European countries have increased. Although the majority of India’s exports continue to go to Asian countries, it has declined in the last five years. Asia’s share in India’s overall exports fell from 48.52 percent in 2014-15 to 47.62 percent in FY2018-19. While North America share increased from 18.16 percent to 19.49 percent, and Europe’s from 15.31 percent to 17.9 in the same period.
Within Asia, India exported less to West Asia in 2018-19, as compared to 2015-14; the region’s share in India’s exports declined from 19.48 percent in 2014-15 to 15.9 percent in 2018-19. However, the share of exports to ASEAN, South Asia, and North East Asia increased during the same period.
India’s key exports in FY2018-19 were petroleum products, followed by pearls, precious, semiprecious stones, drug formulations and biologicals, gold and other precious metal jewelry, iron and steel, as well as organic chemicals. Together, these top ten commodities accounted for about 46 percent of India’s total export.
Pharmaceutical products, automobile, transport equipment, machinery, and readymade garments are also major exports for India.
Imports from US, Asia surge
The rising demand for electrical and electronic equipment – as well as that of mineral fuels, and mineral oils and products in India’s domestic manufacturing market – has increased the share of India’s overall imports from Asia, particularly from China, Hong Kong, and ASEAN economies.
In FY2018-19, India imported 59.3 percent of its total imports from Asian trade partners – this marked an increase of 2.86 percent since FY2014-15. Another 15.8 percent of imports came from Europe and 8.2 percent from exporters in Africa. North America and Latin America supplied 8.1 percent and 4.2 percent of imports to India, respectively.
The country-wise data shows that China’s share of India’s imports grew from 11.6 per cent in FY2013-14 to 13.7 percent in FY2018-19, while the share of imports from the US grew from 4.9 percent to 6.9 percent in the same period.
India’s key imports in FY2018-19 were crude oil, followed by gems and jewelry, and gold and silver amounting to US$65 billion, electronic goods, and machinery.
The tables below shows India’s top trading partners, including their share of exports and imports in India’s overall trade.