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India’s trade deficit with China crosses USD 100 billion in 2022- The New Indian Express


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  India’s trade deficit with China crossed $100 billion mark for the first time in 2022, while overall trade touched an all-time high at $135.98 billion, recording a surge of 8.4% as compared with the previous year, according to the annual Chinese customs data. 

Trade deficit for India stood at $101.02 billion, crossing the 2021 figure of $69.38 billion. China’s exports to India rose 21.7% on a year-on-year (YoY)  basis to $118.5 billion. During 2022, China’s imports from India fell to $17.48 billion, witnessing a YoY fall of 37.9%, data revealed.

Speaking of 2021, the overall trade with China amounted to $125.62 billion, up 43.32% from the previous year, crossing $100 billion mark for the first time. Trade deficit in 2021 stood at $69.56 billion as India’s imports from China registered a growth of 46.14% to touch $97.59 billion. Also, India’s exports to China grew 34.28% year-on-year to reach $28.03 billion in 2021. From 2015 to 2021, India-China trade rose 75.30%, an average yearly growth of 12.55%.

‘Our trade deficit concerns are two-pronged. One is actual size of the deficit. Two is the fact that the imbalance has continuously been widening year after year,’ an official brief on trade posted on the Indian Embassy website in Beijing said. ‘Growth of trade deficit with China could be attributed to two factors — narrow basket of commodities, mostly primary, that we export to China and second, market access impediments for most of our agri products and the sectors where we are competitive such as pharma, IT/ITES,’ it added.

Economists and trade experts say rising imports could be due to revival of domestic manufacturing. Chief Economist at a major Financial Services company told this newspaper a large part of the import growth is being driven by rise in chemicals, engineering equipment including electrical & non electrical instruments. “These reflect rising demand from a reviving manufacturing sector in India,” he says. 

Trade economist Ritesh Kumar Singh says most of the imports from China help Indian businesses as they are intermediate goods. He says imports from China help India contain inflation. “Rising deficit with China remains a concern for our policy makers, but rather than getting into self-harming moves like boycotting Chinese goods or investment, we should see how we can benefit from Chinese goods in becoming cost-competitive and pushing valued-added exports,” he added.

Trade imbalance

$135.98 billion India-China trade

$101 billion Trade deficit for India

$118.5 billion China’s exports to India

21.7% YoY increase

$17.48 billion China’s imports from India

37.9% YoY fall



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