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 roughly 1.9% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

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– 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.

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)









 
See alsoIndia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, India’s Top 10 Imports, India’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value Indian Export Products and Top Indian Trade Balances

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 27, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 27, 2018

TradeIndia.com, Sellers by category. Accessed on March 27, 2018