That estimated dollar amount reflects an 11.1% increase compared to $324 billion in 2018.
Year over year, the total value of goods exported from India declined by -8.8% from $394.8 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022 on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, the Indian rupee dropped by -14.9% against the US dollar since 2018 and depreciated by -6.3% from 2021 to 2022. India’s weaker local currency makes Indian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
India ranks among world-leading countries exporting diamonds, jewelry and refined petroleum.
India’s Best International Customers
The latest available country-specific data is from 2021. Those statistics show that 53.9% of products exported from India was bought by importers in: United States of America (18.1% of the Indian total), United Arab Emirates (6.4%), mainland China (5.8%), Bangladesh (3.6%), Hong Kong (2.9%), Singapore (2.7%), United Kingdom (2.63%), Netherlands (2.6%), Germany (2.4%), Nepal (2.33%), Belgium (2.29%) and Saudi Arabia (2.1%).
From a continental perspective, 45.6% of India’s exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 20.1% were sold to North American importers. India shipped another 19.2% worth of goods to Europe.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (9.6%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (3.6%) then Oceania led by Australia (1.9%).
Given India’s population of 1.423 billion people, its total $360 billion in 2022 exported products translates to roughly $250 for every resident in the vast South Asian country. That dollar metric represents a decrease from an average $300 per capita in 2021.
India’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Indian global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from India.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$42.6 billion (11.8% of total exports)
- Gems, precious metals: $39.7 billion (11%)
- Organic chemicals: $25.1 billion (7%)
- Machinery including computers: $24.6 billion (6.8%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $22.9 billion (6.4%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $20.7 billion (5.8%)
- Vehicles: $17.1 billion (4.8%)
- Iron, steel: $13.8 billion (3.8%)
- Aluminum: $10.2 billion (2.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $9 billion (2.5%)
India’s top 10 exports exceeded three-fifths (62.7%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Electrical machinery and equipment represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 21.7% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales were organic chemicals via a 18.6% advance.
India’s shipments of aluminum posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 13.1% compared to 2021.
The severest decliner among India’s top 10 export categories was iron and steel, pulled down by a -35% year-over-year reduction in revenues.
Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level.
For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of India’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.
Products Generating India’s Greatest Trade Surpluses
The following types of Indian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Pharmaceuticals: US$17.3 billion (Up by 6.9% since 2021)
- Vehicles: $10.6 billion (Down by -14.7%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $8.1 billion (Up by 21%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $7.4 billion (Up by 1.5%)
- Cereals: $6.6 billion (Down by -46.1%)
- Fish: $6.5 billion (Down by -1.1%)
- Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $6.1 billion (Up by 0.2%)
- Aluminum: $5.3 billion (Up by 56.2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $3.1 billion (Down by -12.4%)
- Footwear: $2.6 billion (Up by 52.1%)
India has highly positive net exports in the international trade of drugs and medicines. In turn, these cashflows indicate India’s strong competitive advantages under the pharmaceuticals product category.
Products Causing India’s Biggest Trade Deficits
India incurred an overall -US$76.2 billion trade deficit for all products during 2022, shrinking by -56.6% from -$175.6 billion in red ink one year earlier for 2021.
Below are exports from India that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country India’s goods trail Indian importer spending on foreign products.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -US$45.8 billion (Up by 20.8% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$25.6 billion (Up by 5.5%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: -$22.6 billion (Down by -80.2%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$16.4 billion (Up by 3.8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$10.6 billion (Down by -0.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$7.9 billion (Up by 6.3%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$7.8 billion (Reversing a $270 million surplus)
- Gems, precious metals: -$7.6 billion (Down by -84.9%)
- Fertilizers: -$6.4 billion (Down by -29.6%)
- Inorganic chemicals: -$5.4 billion (Down by -24.8%)
India has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for electrical machinery and equipment.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate India’s competitive disadvantages in the international mineral fuels-related market, but also represent key opportunities for India to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations for pertinent goods.
India’s Major Export Companies
India places 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 List of India’s Most Valuable Export Products
At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from India during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021.
|Rank||Indian Export Product||2022 Value||Change|
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$41,838,798,000||-22.6%|
|3||Medication mixes in dosage||$18,045,856,000||+5.4%|
|5||Phone devices including smartphones||$9,068,890,000||+40.5%|
|8||Heterocyclics, nucleic acids||$5,823,653,000||+62%|
|11||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$4,858,132,000||-7.5%|
|13||Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)||$3,333,425,000||+30.3%|
|15||Rubber tires (new)||$2,969,817,000||+10.3%|
|16||Electrical converters/power units||$2,838,941,000||+32.5%|
|17||Synthetic organic coloring||$2,743,438,000||-8%|
|19||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$2,520,273,000||+50.9%|
|21||Sugar (cane or beet)||$2,314,172,000||-39.3%|
|22||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$2,146,831,000||-8.5%|
|24||Synthetic precious stones||$2,124,623,000||+69.7%|
|25||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$2,092,038,000||+36.2%|
|26||Cases, handbags, wallets||$2,028,545,000||+48.1%|
|28||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$1,930,481,000||-63.4%|
|29||Iron ores, concentrates||$1,878,277,000||-54.8%|
|30||Yarn (85%+ cotton)||$1,805,581,000||-61.6%|
|35||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$1,666,947,000||+10.1%|
|36||Piston engine parts||$1,606,275,000||+11.9%|
|38||Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)||$1,535,669,000||+66.8%|
|40||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$1,500,111,000||+18.9%|
|41||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$1,487,441,000||-41.5%|
|42||Packing sacks, bags||$1,487,179,000||+24.8%|
|43||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$1,456,466,000||+48.9%|
|44||Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)||$1,376,320,000||+220.3%|
|47||Liquid pumps and elevators||$1,341,529,000||+15.7%|
|48||Unglazed ceramic flags, tiles, cubes||$1,332,194,000||-24.2%|
|49||Miscellaneous engines, motors||$1,264,644,000||+102.6%|
|50||Stainless steel bars, rods||$1,259,271,000||+24.3%|
|51||Fixed vegetable fats/oils||$1,253,102,000||+9.6%|
|52||Monument/building stones, art||$1,200,082,000||-8.6%|
|53||Air or vacuum pumps||$1,184,274,000||+2.8%|
|55||Woven floor coverings including carpets||$1,159,082,000||+46.2%|
|56||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$1,140,736,000||-15.7%|
|59||Iron or steel pipe fittings||$1,121,568,000||+49.1%|
|60||Vegetable saps, extracts||$1,114,717,000||+50.5%|
|61||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$1,110,715,000||+4.3%|
|63||Synthetic filament yarn||$1,093,309,000||-19.9%|
|65||Ball, roller bearings||$1,033,974,000||+40.3%|
|66||Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers||$1,028,513,000||+42.9%|
|67||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$1,026,760,000||-21.9%|
|68||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$1,015,890,000||+21.8%|
|69||Women's clothing (knit or crochet)||$1,010,545,000||+54.8%|
|71||Infant clothing (knit or crochet)||$1,002,087,000||-0.9%|
|72||Miscellaneous cast iron or steel items||$990,963,000||-20.5%|
|73||Electric motor parts||$973,653,000||+21.4%|
|74||Leather clothing, accessories||$966,416,000||+42%|
|76||Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)||$948,577,000||-69.4%|
|77||Monumental/buiilding stone (granite, sandstone)||$927,113,000||+8.6%|
|78||Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)||$917,873,000||+18.7%|
|80||Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)||$891,534,000||-18.7%|
|82||Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)||$855,712,000||+30.7%|
|83||Electric generating sets, converters||$845,739,000||+36.2%|
|87||Flat-rolled stainless steel items||$787,138,000||+13.2%|
|88||Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes||$776,023,000||+1.8%|
|90||Saturated acyclic mono acids||$739,568,000||-13.3%|
|93||Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)||$722,699,000||-4.8%|
|95||Vulcanized rubber items||$704,365,000||+19.8%|
|96||Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches||$701,631,000||-14.3%|
|99||Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)||$692,117,000||-24.2%|
|100||Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)||$691,336,000||-15.9%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$258.6 billion or 71.8% by value for all products exported from India during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, India’s total exported goods represent 3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($11.855 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 3% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2022 compares to 3.9% in 2021. Those percentages suggest India’s relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for its total economic performance, albeit based on a short timespan.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. India’s unemployment rate was 7.8% at March 2023, up from 7.5% from one year prior according to Trading Economics.
See also India’s Top 10 Imports, India’s Top Trading Partners, Top Indian Trade Balances and India’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
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