India’s imports of Chinese goods have continued to rise in 2023, growing 4.6% in the first four months of the year to cross $37.86 billion.
Two-way trade climbed 4.5% from the year-earlier period to reach $44.34 billion at the end of April, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed. India’s exports to China also rose by 3.7%, but still accounted for a smaller share of the bilateral trade.
In 2022, bilateral trade with China reached a record $135.98 billion, driven by a 21% rise in imports into India. The trade deficit crossed $100 billion for the first time last year.
Analysts said the continuing increase in imports of Chinese goods presented a mixed picture, highlighting a rise in demand for intermediates required by Indian industry, as well as continued reliance on sourcing from China, a matter of concern for New Delhi amid frayed political ties.
In recent years, India’s biggest imports from China have included active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), chemicals, electrical and mechanical machinery, auto components, and medical supplies.
In the first four months of the year, China’s trade with ASEAN, its largest trading partner, increased 5.6% to $304.63 billion. Trade with the EU and the United States, China’s second- and third-biggest trading partners that have both been recently highlighting the need to “de-risk” supply chains away from China, however, showed declines. While trade with the EU slid by 3.5% to $262.53 billion, that with the U.S. contracted 11.2% to $217.92 billion.