India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat mission gains momentum as imports from China declines sharply in 2020


New Delhi: India-China bilateral trade in 2020 decreased by 5.64% Y-o-Y and stood at $87.65 billion compared to $92.89 billion in 2019, according to Union Commerce Ministry’s recent data on India-China trade in 2020. Notably, Indian imports from China also dropped by 10.87% and stood at $66.78 billion compared to $74.92 billion in 2019. 

“Good signs that Indian exports to China increased by 16.15% from $17.896 billion to reach $20.87 billion in 2020. This is the highest level ever for Indian exports to China and the first time they have crossed $20 billion,” said the ministry.

Accordingly, the trade deficit with China has declined by 19.39% from $56.95 billion in 2019 to $45.91 billion. 

On the other hand, among the top 15 Indian exports (at HS-2 level), a steep rise was witnessed in 2020 in ores (75.35%), iron and steel (336%), aluminum (2023%) and copper, and related $4 billion and making India the fourth largest exporter of iron ores to China. 

According to the ministry, exports of iron and steel amounted to $2.53 billion, marking a Y-o-Y increase of 336.44% and making India the fourth largest exporter of iron and steel to China. 

Exports of aluminum and its articles registered a massive increase of 2023.12% to reach $640 million and making India the fifth largest exporter in this category to China (India ranked 21st in 2019), it stated.

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Among the key agricultural commodities, including sugar, rice, oil, etc., which we had focused on in 2019, total exports saw an increase of 58.99% from $125.3 million in 2019 to $1 99.14 million in 2020. The major contributors to this increase were cane sugar (387.5%), Soyabean oil (3050%), rice (184%), and vegetable fats, and oils (415%).

The exports of mangoes and fish oil, however, declined dramatically to nil, while tea declined by 6.94% and fresh grapes had a fall of 24.1%.

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