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India's 10 biggest trading partners

Last updated on: July 29, 2009 

India's 10 biggest trading partners

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Rediff Business Desk

The global financial crisis, termed as the worst since the Great Depression, has wreaked havoc the world over. Be it the employment market, the manufacturing sector or bilateral trade -- the figures are indeed shocking.

In the fiscal year 2007-08, India's total trade stood at $414.54 billion -- exports of $162.98 billion plus imports of $251.56 billion. Its trade deficit (imports minus exports) stood at a whopping minus $88.58 billion.

But everything changed in the fiscal year 2009. Statistics available for the first three quarters show the dismal figures.

During the April 08-December 08 period. India's total exports stood at $131.13 billion and imports stood at $235.34 billion. Total trade thus stood at $366.47 billion, while the trade deficit was at minus $104.21 billion.

As Indian exporters feel the heat of recession, let's take a look at where India stands as far its top trading partners are concerned.

Source of all figures and information: Department of Commerce, Government of India (http://commerce.nic.in/eidb/default.asp)


Image: The Maersk Ronneby container ship is loaded at the Container Terminal at the Cochin Port in Kerala.
Photographs: Sivaram V/Reuters
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The United States of America

United States still remains India's biggest trading partner with bilateral trade growing from $13.5 billion in 2001 to over $41 billion in 2007. While figures for 2008-09 are still not available, the latest data (April 08- December 09) reveal the extent of the damage that global recession has caused.

Fiscal Year 2007-08:

Export: $20.72 billion
Import: $21.03 billion
Total trade: $41.75 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Export: 15.71 billion
Import: 13.89 billion
Total trade (during the first three quarters): $29.60 billion.

The top 5 items that India exports to the US are:

  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones
  • Articles of iron or steel
  • Articles of apparel, clothing accessories
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts.
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances

Some of the items that India imports from the US are:

  • Fertilisers
  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
  • Organic chemicals
  • Rubber and articles, thereof
  • Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard

Image: A tour leader holds up an umbrella so his group can locate him in the crowd.
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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China

Fiscal Year 2007-08

Total exports: $10.83 billion
Total imports: $27.11 billion
Total trade = $37.94 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $6.13 billion
Total imports: $24.17 billion
Total trade = $30.3 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to China are:

  • Ores, slag and ash
  • Organic chemicals
  • Cotton
  • Iron and steel
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances

Some of the items that India imports from China are:

  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts.
  • Tanning or dyeing extracts; pigments and other colouring matter; paints; putty and other mastics; inks.
  • Silk
  • Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles
  • Ceramic products

Image: Chinese architecture style dragon head is seen as the moon rises at Jiayuguan Pass, China
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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The United Arab Emirates

Fiscal Year 2007-2008

Total export: $15.63 billion
Total Import: $13.48 billion
Total trade: $29.11 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total export: $14.61 billion
Total import: $15.46 billion
Total trade: $30.07 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to the UAE are:

  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances
  • Articles of iron or steel
  • Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted.

Some of the items that India imports from the UAE:

  • Fertilisers
  • Plastic and articles, thereof
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers
  • Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement.
  • Raw hides and skins (other than furs) and leather

Image: Camel jockeys train under the morning sun at Nad al-Sheba race track in Dubai, Saudi Arabia.
Photographs: Devadasan/Reuters
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Saudi Arabia

Fiscal Year 2007-08

Total exports: $3.7 billion
Total imports: 19.41 billion
Total trade = $23.11 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $4.09 billion
Total imports: $17.03 billion
Total trade = $21.12 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to Saudi Arabia are:

  • Cereals.
  • Articles of iron or steel
  • Copper and articles thereof.
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances
  • Meat and edible meat offal

Some of the items that India imports from Saudia are:

  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
  • Organic chemicals
  • Plastic and articles thereof.
  • Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement
  • Edible fruit and nuts; peel or citrus fruit or melons.

Image: The Kingdom Tower stands in the night above the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Photographs: Ali Jarekji/Reuters
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Germany

Fiscal Year 2007-08

Total exports: $5.19 billion
Total imports: $9.87 billion
Total trade = $15.06 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $4.37 billion
Total imports: $8.29 billion
Total trade = $12.66 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to Germany are:

  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers
  • Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof.
  • Organic chemicals
  • Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof.

Some of the items that India imports from Germany are:

  • Organic chemicals
  • Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard
  • Optical, photographic cinematographic measuring, checking precision, medical or surgical inst. and apparatus parts and accessories
  • Iron and steel
  • Plastic and articles thereof.

Image: The moon is pictured beside the 'Golden Victoria' on top of the victory column in Berlin, Germany.
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
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Singapore

Fiscal Year 2007-08

Total exports: $7.37 billion
Total imports: $8.12 billion
Total trade = $15.49 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $ 6.56 billion
Total imports: $5.82 billion
Total trade = $11.47 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to Singapore are:

  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes
  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones, jewellery and coins
  • Aluminium and articles thereof.
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances
  • Ships, boats and floating structures

Some of the items that India imports from Singapore are:

  • Organic chemicals
  • Plastic and articles thereof
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts.
  • Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans.

Image: A tourist boat travels near the Merlion statue overlooking the Marina Bay Sands Casino in Singapore.
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters
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Hong Kong

Fiscal Year 2007-2008

Total exports: $6.31 billion
Total imports: $2.70 billion
Total trade = $9.01 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $4.87 billion
Total imports: $4.39 billion
Total trade = $9.26 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to Hong Kong are:

  • Natural or cultured pearls,precious or semiprecious stones
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts.
  • Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather
  • Silk
  • Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertabrates

Some of the items that India imports from Hong Kong are:

  • Cotton
  • Optical, photographic cinematographic measuring, checking precision, medical or surgical apparatus and accessories
  • Plastic and articles thereof.
  • Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard.
  • Special woven fabrics; tufted textile fabrics; lace; tapestries; trimmings; embroidery.

Image: A visitor takes a picture in front of Two IFC, Hong Kong's highest commercial building.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
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The United Kingdom

Fiscal Year 2007-2008

Total exports: $6.70 billion
Total imports: $4.95 billion
Total trade = $11.65 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $4.69 billion
Total imports: $5.01 billion
Total trade = $9.70 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to the UK are:

  • Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted.
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof.
  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones.
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers,and parts.
  • Coffee, tea and spices

Some of the items that India imports from the UK are:

  • Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp
  • Beverages, spirits and vinegar
  • Iron and steel
  • Printed book s, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans
  • Ships, boats and floating structures.

Image: An actor is silhouetted in front of the Bank of England during the filming of a TV programme.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters
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Belgium

Fiscal Year 2007-08

Total exports: $4.21 billion
Total imports: $4.36 billion
Total trade = $8.57 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Total exports: $3.47 billion
Total imports: $4.73 billion
Total trade = $8.20 billion

The top 5 items that India exports to Belgium are:

  • Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones, jewellery and coins
  • Iron and steel
  • Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes
  • Organic chemicals
  • Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted.

Some of the items that India imports from Belgium are:

  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Photographic or cinematographic goods
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof.
  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes.
  • Plastic and articles thereof

Image: A truck loaded with cars leaves the Opel assembly plant in Antwerp, Belgium.
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters
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The Netherlands

Fiscal Year 2007-2008

Total exports: $5.23 billion
Total imports: $1.92 billion
Total trade = $7.15 billion

From April 08 to December 08

Totak exports: $4.82 billion
Total imports: $1.38 billion
Total trade = $6.2 billion

Top 5 items that Indai exports to the Netherlands are:

  • Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes.
  • Organic chemicals
  • Iron and steel
  • Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers
  • Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted.

Some of the items that India imports from the Netherlands are:

  • Oil seeds and fruits; grains, seeds and fruit; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder
  • Sugars and sugar confectionery
  • Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances
  • Ships, boats and floating structures.
  • Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement.

Image: A swan swims in front of a lit-up windmill at dusk in Kinderdijk, the Netherlands.
Photographs: Michael Kooren/Reuters
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