What are the Items China Imports from India?

The USA is India’s biggest trading partner. However, following closely behind is China, who we now seem to have run into trouble with over various issues. In recent months, political opinion regarding China has taken a hit due to the Coronavirus pandemic and border skirmishes with India. Quite a few significant politicians have called for a large-scale boycott of Chinese goods. While we do import quite a few products from China, we also export some raw materials and products to them as a part of our trade relationship. The items China imports from us mainly revolve around the manufacturing industry. In this article, we will take a closer look at the goods China imports from us, the items China exports and what impact it will have on the trade relationship.

  1. What are the items China imports from India?

  2. What are the goods China exports to us?

  3. Plans for the Future

What are the items China imports from India?

 While most of us are aware of the goods China exports to us, many are unaware that India too is a significant supplier to the Chinese. Annually, India generates revenue exceeding $15.5 billion by exporting items to China, making it a major destination for Indian goods. Our exports to China make up 5.3% of our overall exports. Some of the main products that India exports to China are as follows;

  1. Mineral fuel and oil
  2. Refined copper and copper alloys
  3. Cotton yarn containing over 85% cotton
  4. Uncarded and uncombed Cotton
  5. Petroleum oils
  6. Oils from bituminous minerals, excluding crude
  7. Building stones, such as granite, sandstone, basalt and porphyry
  8. Iron ores and concentrates
  9. Roasted iron pyrites
  10. Vegetable fats and oils, such as jojoba oil
  11. Artificial corundum
  12. Aluminium oxide and hydroxide.
  13. Cyclic alcohols along with cyclonic, and cycloterpenic derivatives.
  14. Textile materials for wigs, such as human hair, wool and animal hair
  15. Agricultural products like grains and tobacco
  16. Engineering products including diesel engines and compressors
  17. Marine foods
  18. Consumer durables

As we can see, the primary items China imports from us are iron and steel ores, chemicals and textile materials. Iron ore and its derivatives make up 53% of our total import to China, with other prominent raw materials being plastic, rubber and inorganic chemicals. China’s strategy over the years has been to import raw material from countries and export finished goods at higher prices.

What are the goods China exports to us?

 While we focused on India’s exports to China until now, let us now take a quick look at the items we import from them. India and China have held trade ties with each other for over 2000 years, sharing several vital goods and products. In recent years, India has depended on the Chinese for products, such as organic chemicals, mobile phones, household items and nuclear reactors. Over 14% of India’s total imports, worth over $62.3 billion come from China as per reports from the Department of Commerce. The primary goods China exports to us are as follows:

  1. Electronics components and products
  2. Organic Chemicals
  3. Nuclear Machinery, including reactors
  4. Computer parts
  5. Automobile parts
  6. Toys
  7. Fertilizers
  8. Mobile phones
  9. Lightings

10.Dairy products

Chinese firms also supply around 80% of India’s solar modules and cells, as they are costly to make in India. Another primary beneficiary of Chinese imports is the telecom industry with Airtel and Idea’s 4G network leveraging ZTE and Huawei technology. Industries involved in the production of refrigerators, mobile phones and automobiles also import several vital components from China. Furthermore, over 70% of drug intermediaries used for pharmaceutical production in India come from China. While India enjoys a trade surplus of $16 billion with the USA, it has a trade deficit worth $53 billion with China in the assessment year 2018-19.

Plans for the Future

 The Honourable Prime Minister of India called for the initiation of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat plan to combat large-scale imports from China. However, this project might take a while to get running as it is an extensive operation. Therefore, finding an alternative to China will be a difficult task for our administration. Also, as seen from above, the amount of trade between these two nations is massive. Enforcing a stringent ban immediately will raise the cost of several products in India. Border disputes had been steadily reducing the bilateral trade between the two nations, with trade having gone down by 15% since 2018.

However, the sudden rise in military action within the Galwan valley is a cause of concern for India. Furthermore, international antagonism against the Chinese is growing due to the ongoing health pandemic. All in all, this might be India’s moment to outshine its neighbour and capture more of the outsourced production market. As per reports from the Commerce and Industry Ministry, the import of Chinese products has declined to $21.58 billion while exports grew by 10% in September. Government officials are planning schemes worth INR 25,000 crore to boost India production within the next five years. These schemes will remove Indian dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and insecticides.

With several companies from around the world showing interest in shifting their operations to India, this could be an excellent opportunity for our country. The government too seems to be doing everything possible to attract such foreign investors and get them to establish manufacturing centres in India. Not only would this help employ millions, but it will also improve India’s economic standing on a global level.

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