India’s Top Trading Partners

India's Top Trading Partners

by Flagpictures.org

Officially named the Republic of India, India is a South Asian nation that shares land borders with China, Nepal and Bhutan to its north-east, Burma and Bangladesh to its east, and Pakistan to its west.

India shipped US$295.8 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That figure represents a -12.1% decline since 2013 but a 13.6% year-over-year gain from 2016 to 2017.

From a continental perspective, half (50.5%) of Indian exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries. Another 18.7% was sold to European importers while 17.6% went to North America.

India exported smaller percentages to Africa (8%) and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (2.8%).

India’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list highlighting 15 of India’s top trading partners in terms of countries that imported the most Indian shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Indian exports.

  1. United States: US$46.1 billion (15.6% of total Indian exports)
  2. United Arab Emirates: $30 billion (10.1%)
  3. Hong Kong: $15 billion (5.1%)
  4. China: $12.5 billion (4.2%)
  5. Singapore: $11.6 billion (3.9%)
  6. United Kingdom: $9 billion (3%)
  7. Germany: $8.2 billion (2.8%)
  8. Vietnam: $8.1 billion (2.7%)
  9. Bangladesh: $7.2 billion (2.4%)
  10. Belgium: $6.2 billion (2.1%)
  11. Italy: $5.7 billion (1.9%)
  12. Malaysia: $5.5 billion (1.9%)
  13. Nepal: $5.5 billion (1.9%)
  14. Netherlands: $5.4 billion (1.8%)
  15. Saudi Arabia: $5.2 billion (1.8%)

Over three-fifths (61.3%) of Indian exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Singapore increased its import purchases from India from 2016 to 2017 by 57.4%. In second place was China with a 40.1% gain in value. Vietnam boosted its imports from India by 36.3%, trailed by a 32.2% improvement for Malaysia and a 27.2% boost from Bangladesh-based importers.

United Arab Emirates was the only top trade partner to cut back on its imports from India, posting a modest 0.1% year-over-year decline.

For a complete listing, see the section Searchable Datalist of Countries Importing India’s Exports near the bottom of this article.

Deficits

Overall India incurred a -$148.2 billion trade deficit for all products during 2017, up 53.8% from its -$96.4 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2016.

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. That export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

India incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. China: -US$59.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Switzerland: -$19.4 billion
  3. Saudi Arabia: -$15.8 billion
  4. Iraq: -$14 billion
  5. Indonesia: -$12.5 billion
  6. South Korea: -$11.7 billion
  7. Australia: -$10.4 billion
  8. Iran: -$8.5 billion
  9. Qatar: -$6.9 billion
  10. Nigeria: -$6.3 billion

Among India’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Indian deficits with Australia (up 80.4%), Iraq (up 56.1%) and Iran (up 44.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate India’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for India to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

India incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. United States: US$22 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. United Arab Emirates: $6.9 billion
  3. Bangladesh: $6.6 billion
  4. Nepal: $5.1 billion
  5. United Kingdom: $4.6 billion
  6. Singapore: $4.4 billion
  7. Hong Kong: $4 billion
  8. Vietnam: $4 billion
  9. Turkey: $3.8 billion
  10. Sri Lanka: $3.8 billion

Among India’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Indian surpluses with Singapore (up 584.6%), Vietnam (up 39.3%) and Bangladesh (up 32.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate India’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for India to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Indian Trading Partners

India placed 54 corporations on the Forbes Global 2000 rankings. Many of these are major Indian export companies. Below is a selection of some of the biggest Indian corporations.

  • Reliance Industries (oil, gas)
  • Tata Motors (cars, trucks)
  • Indian Oil (oil, gas)
  • Coal India (diversified metals, mining)
  • ITC (tobacco)
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals (electrical equipment)
  • Hindalco Industries (aluminum)
  • Tata Steel (iron, steel)
  • Bharat Petroleum (oil, gas)
  • Hindustan Petroleum (oil, gas)
  • Sun Pharma Industries (pharmaceuticals)
  • Steel Authority of India (iron, steel)
  • Bajaj Auto (recreational products)
  • Hero Motocorp (recreational products)
  • Grasim Industries (construction materials)
  • JSW Steel (iron, steel)


 




 

Searchable Datalist of Countries Importing India’s Exports

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below. The right-most shows the percentage change in value for each importing country since 2016.

RankImporter2017 Indian Exports2016-7
1. United States$46.1 billion+9.7%
2. United Arab Emirates$30 billion-0.1%
3. Hong Kong$15 billion+13.7%
4. China$12.5 billion+40.1%
5. Singapore$11.6 billion+57.4%
6. United Kingdom$9 billion+4.6%
7. Germany$8.2 billion+14.8%
8. Vietnam$8.1 billion+36.3%
9. Bangladesh$7.2 billion+27.2%
10. Belgium$6.2 billion+16%
11. Italy$5.7 billion+26.6%
12. Malaysia$5.5 billion+32.2%
13. Nepal$5.5 billion+21.9%
14. Netherlands$5.4 billion+11.6%
15. Saudi Arabia$5.2 billion+3.5%
16. France$5 billion+3.5%
17. Turkey$4.9 billion+10.1%
18. Japan$4.5 billion+17.7%
19. Sri Lanka$4.4 billion+7.2%
20. South Korea$4.4 billion+26.1%
21. South Africa$4.1 billion+25.6%
22. Australia$3.9 billion+31.8%
23. Spain$3.8 billion+12.1%
24. Indonesia$3.8 billion+20.1%
25. Mexico$3.7 billion+9.6%
26. Thailand$3.6 billion+21.1%
27. Israel$3.3 billion+12%
28. Oman$2.9 billion+11.7%
29. Brazil$2.9 billion+24.9%
30. Iran$2.6 billion+7.8%
31. Egypt$2.3 billion+12.4%
32. Canada$2.3 billion+17.7%
33. Taiwan$2.1 billion+17.5%
34. Russia$2.1 billion+18%
35. Nigeria$2.1 billion+18.6%
36. Kenya$1.8 billion-25.9%
37. Pakistan$1.8 billion+12%
38. Philippines$1.6 billion+7.6%
39. Tanzania$1.6 billion-11.3%
40. Poland$1.5 billion+28.7%
41. Kuwait$1.4 billion-3%
42. Iraq$1.3 billion+29.4%
43. Qatar$1.2 billion+54%
44. Myanmar$1.1 billion-7.2%
45. Mozambique$1.1 billion+20.3%
46. Switzerland$995.1 million-3.8%
47. Colombia$912 million+18.9%
48. Sudan$852.8 million+13.1%
49. Algeria$784.1 million-8.8%
50. Mauritius$763.6 million+37.1%
51. Denmark$760.5 million+8.9%
52. Sweden$754.1 million+6.6%
53. Chile$744.6 million+14.1%
54. Portugal$735.8 million+19%
55. Senegal$734.7 million+24.1%
56. Peru$729.2 million+6.9%
57. Ethiopia$712.6 million-14.2%
58. Argentina$661.3 million+29.5%
59. Afghanistan$639 million+35.1%
60. Ghana$638.3 million-10.4%
61. Côte d'Ivoire$538.3 million+40.5%
62. Ireland$517.7 million+4.3%
63. Yemen$513.3 million+14.5%
64. Uganda$507.2 million-3.2%
65. Jordan$496.1 million+7.6%
66. Bahrain$493.9 million+3.9%
67. Benin$484.9 million+10.1%
68. Somalia$467.6 million-6.8%
69. Austria$437.4 million+15.2%
70. Greece$423.2 million+19.4%
71. Morocco$413.7 million+12.1%
72. Bhutan$403.2 million+7.8%
73. Togo$402 million-6.4%
74. Hungary$400.2 million+2.9%
75. Czech Republic$393.5 million-26.4%
76. Guinea$365.4 million+10.3%
77. Romania$345.3 million+35.3%
78. Norway$344 million+47.4%
79. Ukraine$330.6 million+13.6%
80. New Zealand$329.4 million+6.7%
81. Finland$286.2 million+8.7%
82. Guatemala$282.1 million+17.7%
83. Djibouti$274.8 million+1.6%
84. Tunisia$266.4 million+7.3%
85. Madagascar$266 million+80.3%
86. Ecuador$264.7 million+60.2%
87. Slovenia$263.9 million-9.5%
88. Zambia$257.6 million+9.4%
89. Liberia$253.3 million+100.1%
90. Lebanon$245.4 million+16%
91. Panama$233.9 million+9.4%
92. Angola$233.9 million+67.3%
93. Gibraltar$226.7 million-86.4%
94. Malawi$223.8 million+29.2%
95. Maldives$213.4 million+18.5%
96. Democr. Repub. Congo$209.5 million-10.6%
97. Malta$205.2 million+86.9%
98. Dominican Republic$195.8 million-11.4%
99. Cameroon$192.3 million+25%
100. Uruguay$188.8 million+35%
101. Croatia$167.2 million+41.8%
102. Zimbabwe$154.7 million+32.6%
103. Bulgaria$152.5 million-32.8%
104. Paraguay$150.3 million+26.5%
105. Slovakia$149.7 million+5.7%
106. Syrian Arab Republic$146.1 million+17%
107. Honduras$142.2 million+0.2%
108. Burkina Faso$140.8 million+17.2%
109. Costa Rica$133.7 million-9.6%
110. Uzbekistan$130.7 million+44%
111. Mali$123.2 million+19.7%
112. Cambodia$120.2 million+10%
113. Latvia$119.6 million+23.7%
114. Libya$119 million-5.5%
115. Kazakhstan$118.4 million-5.3%
116. Congo$116.9 million-20.1%
117. Niger$116.6 million+43.1%
118. Gambia$108.3 million+78.6%
119. Lithuania$103.3 million+5.8%
120. Sierra Leone$98.8 million+22.2%
121. Bolivia$98.8 million+38.3%
122. Botswana$97.2 million+32.1%
123. Cyprus$96.4 million+33.1%
124. Haiti$92.4 million+40.6%
125. Trinidad/Tobago$92.2 million+13.1%
126. Rwanda$91.5 million+4.6%
127. Estonia$87.3 million+1.9%
128. Venezuela$82 million+12.1%
129. Nicaragua$78.5 million-13.5%
130. Georgia$74.9 million-21.5%
131. Mauritania$67.4 million+4.4%
132. Namibia$67 million-7.1%
133. El Salvador$66.1 million+11.4%
134. Turkmenistan$59.6 million+4.2%
135. North Korea$59.4 million+9.7%
136. Serbia$55.3 million+14.7%
137. Fiji$53.4 million+8.6%
138. Jamaica$50 million+18.7%
139. Brunei Darussalam$48.1 million+28.4%
140. Cuba$45.7 million+16.4%
141. Belarus$44.9 million+7.3%
142. Burundi$44.6 million+47.7%
143. Gabon$44.5 million+4.7%
144. Montenegro$44.3 million+23.9%
145. Azerbaijan$41.5 million+31.2%
146. Curaçao$41.2 million+7.9%
147. Seychelles$37.8 million-0.1%
148. Papua New Guinea$36.7 million-7%
149. Swaziland$33.2 million-14.9%
150. Armenia$32.9 million+4.1%
151. Lesotho$32.6 million+12.6%
152. Central African Republic$31.1 million+204.6%
153. Kyrgyzstan$30.9 million+16.1%
154. Chad$26.1 million-30.3%
155. Tajikistan$24.4 million+23.7%
156. Albania$24.1 million-15%
157. Laos$23.6 million-1.2%
158. Guyana$23.2 million+19.9%
159. Comoros$20.1 million-1.7%
160. Macedonia$15.6 million+8.1%
161. Suriname$15.4 million+52%
162. Belize$14.8 million-2.7%
163. Mongolia$13.9 million+42%
164. Bosnia/Herzegovina$13.3 million-20.4%
165. Guinea-Bissau$12.8 million-42.1%
166. Barbados$12.1 million-9.2%
167. Luxembourg$11.3 million+8.4%
168. Equatorial Guinea$11 million-30.8%
169. New Caledonia$10.6 million+46.6%
170. Macao$7.4 million+317.9%
171. Bahamas$7.4 million+28.7%
172. Moldova$7.2 million+13.5%
173. Eritrea$7 million+49.9%
174. Aruba$6.5 million-21.5%
175. Iceland$5.9 million-70.4%
176. US Minor Outlying Is$5.4 million+255.6%
177. Saint Lucia$4.3 million+13.7%
178. Cayman Islands$4.1 million-19.3%
179. Nauru$3.9 million+20,189%
180. Timor-Leste$3.5 million+50.5%
181. Bermuda$3.5 million-14.6%
182. Grenada$2.9 million+11.9%
183. Saint Kitts/Nevis$2.8 million-8.9%
184. Vanuatu$2.2 million+7.1%
185. Samoa$2.1 million-8.4%
186. Antigua/Barbuda$2 million-10.8%
187. Dominica$1.7 million-30.6%
188. Cabo Verde$1.4 million-1%
189. Tonga$1.4 million+55.1%
190. Solomon Islands$1.3 million-58.7%
191. Turks/Caicos Islands$1.2 million+90.8%
192. Sao Tome/Principe$963+13.4%
193. St Vincent/Grenadines$705-10.8%
194. British Virgin Islands$632+7.5%
195. Kiribati$483-18.5%
196. Anguilla$385+969.4%
197. Andorra$302+67.8%
198. Micronesia$297+45.6%
199. Faroe Islands$254-77.1%
200. Montserrat$225-75.7%
201. Cook Islands$168+12.8%
202. Norfolk Island$138-74.4%
203. Marshall Islands$68-52%
204. Tuvalu$67-14.1%
205. Palau$53+89.3%
206. Wallis/Futuna Islands$47+840%
207. Northern Mariana Is$40+5.3%
208. Western Sahara$14,000+1,300%
209. St Maarten (Dutch)$10,000no 2016 data
210. St. Pierre and Miquelon$10,000no 2016 data
211. Greenland$7,000no 2016 data
212. Saint Helena$6,000no 2016 data


See also India’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, India’s Top 10 Imports, India’s Top 10 Exports and Top Indian Trade Balances

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 14, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on November 14, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on November 14, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on November 14, 2018

TradeIndia.com, Sellers by category. Accessed on November 14, 2018