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China Overtakes US as India’s Largest Trading Partner in FY24

According to data from the Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), an economic think tank, China has emerged as India’s largest trading partner in the fiscal year 2023-24, surpassing the United States. The two-way commerce between India and China stood at a staggering $118.4 billion, slightly edging out the $118.3 billion traded with the US.

China’s Trade Surplus with India Widens

The data reveals that India’s exports to China rose by an impressive 8.7% to $16.67 billion in the last fiscal year. Key sectors driving this growth include iron ore, cotton yarn/fabrics/madeups, handloom, spices, fruits and vegetables, and plastic and linoleum. However, imports from China also increased, growing by 3.24% to reach a substantial $101.7 billion.

US Trade Dynamics: Exports Dip, Surplus Expands

On the other hand, India’s exports to the US dipped by 1.32% to $77.5 billion in 2023-24, while imports from the US saw a larger decline of around 20%, amounting to $40.8 billion. Despite the drop in exports, India’s trade surplus with the US expanded, reaching $36.74 billion.

Evolving Trade Landscape with Top Partners

GTRI Founder Ajay Srivastava noted that from fiscal year 2019 to FY2024, India’s trade dynamics with its top 15 trading partners underwent significant transformations, impacting both exports and imports, as well as the status of trade surplus or deficit across various sectors.

While China witnessed a marginal decline of 0.6% in exports to India, its imports from China surged by a remarkable 44.7%, leading to an expanding trade deficit that grew from $53.57 billion in FY2019 to $85.09 billion in FY2024.

Other Major Trading Partners

Apart from China and the US, the United Arab Emirates emerged as India’s third-largest trading partner in 2023-24, with a total trade of $83.6 billion. Other major trading partners included Russia ($65.7 billion), Saudi Arabia ($43.4 billion), and Singapore ($35.6 billion).

As the global economic landscape continues to evolve, India’s trade dynamics with its key partners are undergoing significant shifts, highlighting the need for strategic trade policies and diversification efforts to foster balanced and mutually beneficial relationships.

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