A sharp increase in India’s imports of Chinese goods in the first quarter of 2022 lifted bilateral trade by 15% to a record $31.96 billion, trade data released by China on Wednesday show.
Imports surged 28% from the year-earlier period to $27.69 billion. India’s exports, however, slumped 26% to $4.87 billion.
In 2021, India’s trade with China surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time to reach $125 billion, driven by demand for electronic products, chemicals and auto components. India’s imports accounted for a bulk of the trade, reaching $97.5 billion, while exports crossed $20 billion for the first time.
.Compared with pre-pandemic levels of trade in 2019, imports in the first quarter jumped 54%, while exports were 9% higher.
The 15% increase in India-China trade was among the highest for China’s major trading partners. Overall, China’s exports climbed 13.4%, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said, while imports rose 7.5%. Trade increased 9.9% with the U.S. and 10.2% with the EU.
Economists are concerned about the possible impact that the current COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, particularly in Shanghai, may have on supply chains and China’s trade performance in the next quarter.
China faced “multiple challenges and risks” as well as “sudden internal and external factors” that would pose a challenge for the country ’s trade performance in 2022, said Li Kuiwen, spokesperson for the GAC.