China Dethrones US As India’s Top Trade Partner In FY24

GTRI (Global Trade Research Initiative) reported a dramatic shift in India’s trade dynamics with its top trading partners in the past few years, from 2019 to FY24. According to the report, imports from neighbouring countries increased by 3.24% to reach  $101.7 billion in FY24. Moreover, the report mentioned that exports from the United States declined by 1.32% to $77.5 billion in 2023-24 as against $78.54 billion in 2022-23. The imports from the USA also witnessed a backlash of 20% to $40.8 billion in FY24.

Conversely, China’s exports increased by 8.7% to USD 16.67 billion in the last fiscal year, whereas imports increased by 3.24% to USD 101.7 billion. According to GTRI, the key sectors that demonstrated notable growth in exports are:

  • Iron ore
  • Cotton yarn/fabrics/made-ups
  • Handloom
  • Spices
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Plastic
  • Linoleum

However, if we look at the trade growth in the last 5 years, from 2019 – FY24, China witnessed a dip in exports by 0.6% to USD 16.66 billion, while imports from China soared 44.7% to USD 101.75 billion. 

Looking at this trend, GTRI Founder Ajay Srivastava states, “This increase in imports resulted in a widening trade deficit, escalating from USD 53.57 billion in FY2019 to USD 85.09 billion in FY2024, raising concerns about stagnant exports amidst increasing imports.”

Even though trade with the USA fell in FY 2024, it witnessed overall growth in the last five years. Exports increased by 47.9% from USD 52.41 billion to USD 77.52 billion, and imports grew by 14.7% from USD 35.55 billion to USD 40.78 billion.

The Commerce Ministry stated that China held the position of India’s primary trading partner from the fiscal years 2013-14 through 2017-18, and then regained this position in 2020-21. Before China, the UAE was India’s largest trading partner. The US took over as the largest partner in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

In 2023-24, the UAE ranked as India’s third-largest trading partner, with a trading volume of USD 83.6 billion, followed by Russia ($65.7 billion), Saudi Arabia ($43.4 billion), and Singapore ($35.6 billion).

Leave a Reply