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$323.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That dollar figure represents a 1.7% increase since 2014 and a 9.2% gain from 2017 to 2018.

Applying a continental lens, almost half (49.3%) of Indian exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries. Another 19.3% was sold to European importers while 18% went to North America.

Smaller percentages went to Africa (8.3%), Latin America (2.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (1.3%) led by Australia.

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 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Indian exports.

  1. United States: US$51.6 billion (16% of total Indian exports)
  2. United Arab Emirates: $29 billion (9%)
  3. China: $16.4 billion (5.1%)
  4. Hong Kong: $13.2 billion (4.1%)
  5. Singapore: $10.4 billion (3.2%)
  6. United Kingdom: $9.8 billion (3%)
  7. Germany: $9 billion (2.8%)
  8. Bangladesh: $8.8 billion (2.7%)
  9. Netherlands: $8.7 billion (2.7%)
  10. Nepal: $7.3 billion (2.3%)
  11. Belgium: $6.8 billion (2.1%)
  12. Vietnam: $6.7 billion (2.1%)
  13. Malaysia: $6.5 billion (2%)
  14. Italy: $5.5 billion (1.7%)
  15. Saudi Arabia: $5.5 billion (1.7%)

About three-fifths (60.4%) of Indian exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

The Netherlands increased its import purchases from India from 2017 to 2018 by the leading 59.3%. In second place was Nepal with a 32.2% gain in value. China boosted its imports from India by 31.3%, trailed by a 21.4% improvement for Bangladesh, a 17.7% uptick for Malaysia and a 12% boost from United States-based importers.

Leading the decliners were importers in Vietnam (down -17.4%), Hong Kong (down -12%) then Singapore (down -9.9%).

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

Deficits

India incurred an overall -$184.5 billion trade deficit for all products during 2018, expanding 24.5% from its -$148.2 billion in red ink one year earlier.

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$57.3 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
  2. Saudi Arabia: -$22.9 billion
  3. Iraq: -$21.2 billion
  4. Switzerland: -$16.8 billion
  5. Iran: -$11.9 billion
  6. South Korea: -$11.6 billion
  7. Indonesia: -$11.2 billion
  8. Australia: -$10.4 billion
  9. Qatar: -$8.9 billion
  10. Nigeria: -$8.4 billion

Among India’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Indian deficits with Iraq (up 50.9%), Saudi Arabia (up 44.3%) and Iran (up 40.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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$19 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
  2. Bangladesh: $7.9 billion
  3. Nepal: $6.9 billion
  4. Netherlands: $5 billion
  5. Sri Lanka: $3.3 billion
  6. Turkey: $3.3 billion
  7. United Kingdom: $2.7 billion
  8. Spain: $2.4 billion
  9. United Arab Emirates: $2.2 billion
  10. Kenya: $2 billion

Among India’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Indian surpluses with the Netherlands (up 60.5%), Nepal (up 35.1%) and Spain (up 26.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 over 50 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 2017.

RankImporter2018 Indian Exports2017-8
1. United States$51.6 billion+12%
2. United Arab Emirates$29 billion-3.4%
3. China$16.4 billion+31.3%
4. Hong Kong$13.2 billion-12%
5. Singapore$10.4 billion-9.9%
6. United Kingdom$9.8 billion+9.1%
7. Germany$9 billion+8.8%
8. Bangladesh$8.8 billion+21.4%
9. Netherlands$8.7 billion+59.3%
10. Nepal$7.3 billion+32.2%
11. Belgium$6.8 billion+9.6%
12. Vietnam$6.7 billion-17.4%
13. Malaysia$6.5 billion+17.7%
14. Italy$5.5 billion-2.1%
15. Saudi Arabia$5.5 billion+5.5%
16. Turkey$5.4 billion+8.8%
17. France$5.3 billion+5%
18. South Korea$4.8 billion+9.8%
19. Indonesia$4.8 billion+27.2%
20. Japan$4.7 billion+5.3%
21. Sri Lanka$4.7 billion+5.6%
22. Thailand$4.4 billion+21.8%
23. Spain$4.1 billion+9.1%
24. South Africa$4 billion-1.5%
25. Mexico$3.8 billion+3.8%
26. Israel$3.8 billion+16%
27. Australia$3.7 billion-3.8%
28. Brazil$3.6 billion+24%
29. Taiwan$2.9 billion+33.4%
30. Iran$2.9 billion+9.7%
31. Canada$2.8 billion+20.4%
32. Egypt$2.8 billion+18.7%
33. Nigeria$2.7 billion+32.6%
34. Pakistan$2.4 billion+32.5%
35. Russia$2.3 billion+8.9%
36. Oman$2.3 billion-20.6%
37. Kenya$2.1 billion+16.7%
38. Tanzania$1.9 billion+19.5%
39. Iraq$1.9 billion+47.2%
40. Philippines$1.7 billion+10.3%
41. Qatar$1.7 billion+42.4%
42. Poland$1.5 billion+5.4%
43. Kuwait$1.3 billion-2.7%
44. Switzerland$1.2 billion+24.3%
45. Myanmar (Burma)$1.2 billion+16.6%
46. Colombia$1.1 billion+18%
47. Mauritius$970.2 million+27.1%
48. Algeria$945.2 million+20.6%
49. Chile$925.1 million+24.2%
50. Djibouti$853 million+210.4%
51. Mozambique$804.8 million-23.5%
52. Sudan$800.1 million-6.2%
53. Sweden$786.5 million+4.3%
54. Portugal$762.3 million+3.6%
55. Peru$757.9 million+3.9%
56. Denmark$745.3 million-2%
57. Afghanistan$728.5 million+14%
58. Ghana$727.1 million+13.9%
59. Bahrain$712.4 million+44.2%
60. Ethiopia$708.3 million-0.6%
61. Senegal$666.1 million-9.3%
62. Yemen$664.3 million+29.4%
63. Bhutan$653.8 million+62.2%
64. Argentina$631.3 million-4.5%
65. Uganda$561.8 million+10.8%
66. Ireland$538.2 million+4%
67. Jordan$522.2 million+5.3%
68. Greece$490 million+15.8%
69. Morocco$481.2 million+16.3%
70. Austria$478.5 million+9.4%
71. Romania$445 million+28.9%
72. Côte d'Ivoire$440.6 million-18.2%
73. Hungary$440.3 million+10%
74. Somalia$437.1 million-6.5%
75. Togo$421.4 million+4.8%
76. Czech Republic$413.9 million+5.2%
77. Guinea$406.6 million+11.3%
78. Ukraine$400.3 million+21.1%
79. Benin$384.1 million-20.8%
80. New Zealand$378.7 million+15%
81. Zambia$329 million+27.7%
82. Gibraltar$313.2 million+38.1%
83. Tunisia$308.5 million+15.8%
84. Ecuador$305.9 million+15.6%
85. Guatemala$305.3 million+8.2%
86. Slovenia$305 million+15.6%
87. Norway$301.8 million-12.3%
88. Democratic Rep. Congo$277.3 million+32.4%
89. Lebanon$273.8 million+11.6%
90. Angola$268.9 million+15%
91. Finland$262.3 million-8.4%
92. Maldives$220.9 million+3.5%
93. Madagascar$215.7 million-18.9%
94. Dominican Republic$212.5 million+8.5%
95. Panama$212.1 million-9.3%
96. Malta$196.8 million-4.1%
97. Bulgaria$193.5 million+26.9%
98. Uzbekistan$193.3 million+47.9%
99. Uruguay$189.2 million+0.2%
100. Zimbabwe$188.6 million+21.9%
101. Liberia$182.2 million-28.1%
102. Cambodia$178.2 million+48.3%
103. Malawi$177 million-20.9%
104. Burkina Faso$166.5 million+18.2%
105. Paraguay$164.9 million+9.7%
106. Cameroon$164.7 million-14.4%
107. Syrian Arab Republic$160.1 million+9.5%
108. Honduras$157.5 million+10.8%
109. Croatia$150.2 million-10.2%
110. Slovakia$147.6 million-1.4%
111. Gambia$145.9 million+34.7%
112. Costa Rica$145.9 million+9.2%
113. Botswana$144.5 million+48.7%
114. Kazakhstan$138.7 million+17.1%
115. Libya$133.7 million+12.3%
116. Rwanda$130.3 million+42.3%
117. Mali$129.1 million+4.8%
118. Congo$128.5 million+9.9%
119. Lithuania$120.6 million+16.8%
120. Latvia$117.9 million-1.4%
121. Mauritania$116.1 million+72.2%
122. Sierra Leone$106.4 million+7.7%
123. Georgia$103.1 million+37.6%
124. Bolivia$99.6 million+0.8%
125. Niger$99.2 million-15%
126. Trinidad/Tobago$83.8 million-9.1%
127. Haiti$81.8 million-11.4%
128. Seychelles$80.4 million+113%
129. El Salvador$77.8 million+17.8%
130. Venezuela$72.7 million-11.4%
131. Serbia$68.8 million+24.3%
132. Brunei Darussalam$67 million+39.2%
133. Nicaragua$65.7 million-16.3%
134. Cyprus$64.7 million-32.8%
135. Estonia$64.2 million-26.5%
136. Fiji$59.7 million+11.7%
137. Belarus$55.8 million+24.2%
138. Jamaica$54.6 million+9.1%
139. Gabon$51.3 million+15.3%
140. Namibia$48 million-28.3%
141. Papua New Guinea$46.5 million+26.9%
142. Burundi$42.7 million-4.3%
143. Turkmenistan$41.7 million-30.1%
144. Cuba$38.2 million-16.5%
145. Montenegro$37.5 million-15.2%
146. Laos$37.4 million+58.3%
147. Albania$37.2 million+54.5%
148. Azerbaijan$37.1 million-10.7%
149. Lesotho$32.3 million-1%
150. Guyana$31.7 million+36.8%
151. North Korea$31 million-47.8%
152. Chad$30.7 million+17.9%
153. Comoros$29.3 million+45.7%
154. Mongolia$28.5 million+105.5%
155. Kyrgyzstan$28.4 million-8%
156. Curaçao$27.8 million-32.6%
157. Armenia$27 million-18.1%
158. Central African Rep$24 million-22.8%
159. Eswatini$22 million-33.5%
160. Suriname$20.8 million+35.6%
161. Tajikistan$20.5 million-15.9%
162. North Macedonia$19.8 million+27.5%
163. Iceland$18.9 million+222%
164. Bosnia/Herzegovina$17.2 million+29.6%
165. Marshall Islands$14.2 million+20,763%
166. Belize$14.2 million-3.9%
167. Luxembourg$14.1 million+24%
168. Barbados$12.1 million+0.1%
169. Equatorial Guinea$11 millionNo 2017 data
170. British Virgin Islands$10.8 million+1,606%
171. Eritrea$9.6 million+36.7%
172. Aruba$8.5 million+31.3%
173. Moldova$8.3 million+15.5%
174. Guinea-Bissau$8.1 million-36.8%
175. New Caledonia$7.9 million-25.2%
176. Macao$7.5 million+1.1%
177. Bahamas$5.8 million-21.6%
178. US Minor Outlying Is$5.7 million+4.5%
179. Saint Lucia$4.5 million+6.4%
180. Cayman Islands$4.5 million+7.6%
181. Timor-Leste$3.9 million+11.3%
182. Bermuda$3.1 million-9%
183. Antigua/Barbuda$2.9 million+48.2%
184. Grenada$2.8 million-3.6%
185. Samoa$2.7 million+31.4%
186. Saint Kitts/Nevis$2.4 million-13.3%
187. Vanuatu$2.1 million-2.2%
188. Faroe Islands$2 million+682.3%
189. Dominica$1.7 million-0.8%
190. Solomon Islands$1.5 million+14.5%
191. Cabo Verde$1.5 million+7.1%
192. Sao Tome/Principe$1 million+4.3%
193. Palestine$844,000No 2017 data
194. Tonga$598,000-55.9%
195. St Vincent/Grenadines$556,000-21.1%
196. Nauru$460,000-88.1%
197. Norfolk Island$378,000+173.9%
198. Kiribati$376,000-22.2%
199. Andorra$355,000+17.5%
200. Turks/Caicos Islands$317,000-74.2%
201. Anguilla$283,000-26.5%
202. Micronesia$274,000-7.7%
203. Cook Islands$264,000+57.1%
204. Northern Mariana Is$247,000+517.5%
205. French S/Antarctic Terr$105,000No 2017 data
206. Palau$76,000+43.4%
207. Montserrat$65,000-71.1%
208. Saint Helena$19,000+216.7%
209. Pitcairn$18,000No 2017 data
210. St. Pierre/Miquelon$10,000No 2017 data
211. Wallis/Futuna Islands$4,000-91.5%
212. Tokelau$2,000No 2017 data
213. Falkland Is (Malvinas)$1,000No 2017 data
214. Greenland$1,000-85.7%


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 March 8, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 8, 2019

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 8, 2019

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 8, 2019

TradeIndia.com, Sellers by category. Accessed on March 8, 2019