The 100 most valuable consumer products imported into the Republic of India in 2020 generated US$137.3 billion worth of spending. That dollar amount represents 37.3% of the overall value of all Indian imported goods ($368 billion).
The 5 most valuable consumer products imported into India during 2020 were gold, diamonds, coal, phones and computers.
The total dollar amount for India’s top 100 imported consumer products declined by -19.2% from 2019 to 2020, compared to a -23.2% drop for all Indian imported goods for the year.
India’s purchases of imported products–both overall and consumer–actually dropped at a much faster pace than the global average decline of -8.2% from 2019 to 2020 for all importing countries.
Among the top 100 consumer products imported by India, 25 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 75 declined.
Changes in Indian consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.
Consumer Products Defined
Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.
Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.
Types of Consumer Products
This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.
Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.
Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.
Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.
Indian Consumer Imports Smart List
The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases India’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.
The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.
|3||Coal, solid fuels made from coal:||$15,871,091,000||-29.8%||CP|
|5||Computers, optical readers:||$7,283,509,000||+7.5%||SP|
|6||Processed petroleum oils:||$5,879,956,000||-12.0%||CP|
|13||Electrical converters/power units:||$1,897,191,000||-14.1%||SP|
|14||Dried shelled vegetables:||$1,568,299,000||+1.0%||CP|
|15||Packaged insecticides, herbicides:||$1,507,220,000||+13.2%||SP|
|16||Computer parts, accessories:||$1,444,633,000||-10.0%||SP|
|18||Lower-voltage switches, fuses:||$1,419,391,000||-8.3%||SP|
|19||Electric storage batteries:||$1,409,109,000||-18.2%||SY|
|23||Coconuts, Brazil nuts, cashews||$1,121,713,000||-3.8%||CP|
|27||Miscellaneous plastic items:||$874,161,000||-3.4%||CP|
|31||Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items:||$714,943,000||-49.2%||SP|
|33||Unrecorded sound media:||$657,105,000||-53.2%||SP|
|34||Miscellaneous iron or steel items:||$653,099,000||-27.5%||SP|
|35||Sugar (cane or beet):||$641,639,000||+110.3%||CP|
|36||Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins:||$608,189,000||-28.8%||SP|
|37||Vulcanized rubber items:||$501,111,000||-11.5%||SP|
|38||Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung):||$493,250,000||-59.9%||SY|
|39||Interchangeable hand/machine tools:||$487,453,000||-20.5%||SY|
|40||Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines:||$477,104,000||+4.4%||SY|
|43||Electric water heaters, hair dryers:||$367,179,000||-9.3%||SY|
|48||Other organic cleaning preparations:||$300,258,000||+5.3%||CP|
|49||Seats (not barber/dentist chairs):||$295,297,000||-28.2%||SP|
|51||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps:||$265,891,000||-19.9%||CP|
|52||Lubricant preparations, anti-rust||$252,086,000||-21.9%||SP|
|53||Miscellaneous aluminum items:||$222,413,000||-34.2%||SP|
|54||Apples, pears (fresh):||$221,806,000||-16.8%||CP|
|55||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs):||$214,777,000||-38.7%||CP|
|56||Rubber tires (new):||$205,713,000||-46.6%||SP|
|58||Vulcanized rubber apparel/accessory:||$199,757,000||+75.1%||SP|
|59||Miscellaneous textile items:||$197,180,000||+271.3%||SP|
|61||Prepared glues, adhesives:||$191,031,000||-14.8%||SP|
|63||Cases, handbags, wallets:||$180,513,000||-58.7%||SP|
|67||Textile rags, rope, cables||$169,478,000||-13.0%||SY|
|68||Sewing machines, related furniture:||$164,350,000||-35.6%||SY|
|69||Soap, organic surface-active goods:||$158,043,000||+30.3%||SP|
|70||Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys:||$156,860,000||-47.5%||SP|
|71||Magnets including electro-magnets:||$152,780,000||-8.1%||SY|
|72||Uncoated paper for writing/printing:||$150,171,000||-54.5%||CP|
|73||Men's suits (unknit/non-crochet):||$145,075,000||-32.9%||SP|
|74||Footwear (rubber or plastic):||$140,141,000||-38.9%||SP|
|76||Sowing seeds, fruits, spores:||$134,128,000||+7.7%||CP|
|77||Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools:||$133,020,000||-20.2%||SY|
|78||Wrist/pocket watches (regular case):||$130,384,000||-38.7%||SP|
|79||Calculators, cash registers, similar:||$118,913,000||-34.7%||SP|
|81||Felt or other non-woven garments:||$112,938,000||+592.1%||SP|
|82||Other food preparations:||$112,509,000||-23.5%||CP|
|83||Grapes (fresh or dried):||$112,362,000||-6.7%||CP|
|84||Cinnamon, cinnamon-tree flowers||$108,486,000||+26.2%||CP|
|87||Coconut, palm kernel or babassu oil:||$102,966,000||-3.2%||CP|
|89||Electric generating sets, converters:||$97,466,000||-41.9%||SY|
|90||Waters with added sugar:||$95,161,000||-27.3%||CP|
|93||Vegetable saps, extracts:||$84,253,000||-4.5%||CP|
|94||Caraway, coriander, juniper seeds||$82,355,000||+22.7%||CP|
|95||Glass beads, imitation pearls||$81,981,000||-41.4%||SP|
|96||Glass bottles, other containers:||$81,795,000||-7.9%||SP|
|97||Printed books, brochures:||$80,425,000||-45.5%||SP|
|98||Spices like ginger, saffron, curry||$79,412,000||+0.9%||CP|
|99||Electric shavers, hair clippers||$78,092,000||+10.9%||SP|
|100||Women's clothing (not knit/crochet):||$76,685,000||-41.1%||SP|
The most popular product type is shopping products (SD) led by phones, computers, automobile parts or accessories, electrical converters or power units, and packaged insecticides and herbicides. Shopping products represent over two-fifths (43) of India’s top 100 imported consumer goods.
In second place via 34 entries are convenience products (CP) led by coal, processed petroleum oils, palm oil, soya-bean oil, sunflower, safflower or cotton-seed oils, and dried shelled vegetables.
There were 23 speciality products (SY). Examples of speciality products are Indian imports of gold, diamonds and silver.
Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.
Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications and sugar are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.
Based on the product types identified in the above table, 66 of India’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 34 are classified as non-durable.
You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.
Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into India that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.
- Garments made from felt or other non-woven materials: Up 592.1% ($112.9 million)
- Miscellaneous textile items: Up 271.3% ($197.2 million)
- Soya beans: Up 160% ($292.1 million)
- Sugar: Up 110.3% ($641.6 million)
- Trucks: Up 75.3% ($113.2 million)
- Vulcanized rubber clothing and accessories: Up 75.1% ($199.8 million)
- Cloves: Up 53% ($170.7 million)
- Dates, pineapples, mangos, avocados: Up 37.8% ($362.4 million)
- Soya-bean oil: Up 31.7% ($3 billion)
- Soap, organic surface-active goods: Up 30.3% ($158 million)
Among the above top gainers, 5 items are durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Those 5 durable items are also shopping products like trucks or clothing-related items. Shopping products typically require a comparatively longer time to make a buying decision compared to convenience products.
The fastest-growing convenience products are 5 other goods, ranging from cloves to sugar. Consumers consider these items as non-durable products, commonly referred to as disposable goods and therefore are used only once.
Worst-Declining Consumer Imports
India’s spending on the following 10 items decreased at the greatest pace from 2019 to 2020.
- Unstrung precious or semi-precious stones: Down -59.9% ($493.3 million)
- Silver: Down -59.3% ($.2 billion)
- Cases, handbags, wallets: Down -58.7% ($180.5 million)
- Uncoated paper for writing/printing: Down -54.5% ($150.2 million)
- Unrecorded sound media: Down -53.2% ($657.1 million)
- Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items: Down -49.2% ($714.9 million)
- Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys: Down -47.5% ($156.9 million)
- New rubber tires: Down -46.6% ($205.7 million)
- Printed books, brochures: Down -45.5% ($80.4 million)
- Textile footwear: Down -44.9% ($177.8 million)
Only one among the India’s top 10 declining imports is a non-durable convenience product consumed one time, namely uncoated paper for writing or printing.
The remaining 9 major import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for consumers to make buying decisions. Purchases under the shopping products category are more likely to be deferred than convenience products. Examples of these shopping goods are footwear, printed books or brochures, new rubber tires as well as speciality product silver.
Key Suppliers by Country
This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target India’s demand for its top 5 consumer import products.
India’s biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils. India’s 4 other leading consumer imports are mobile phones, cars, computers, and automobile parts or accessories.
Below, you will find major supplying countries for India’s imported:
Gold: Switzerland (42.9% of total), United Arab Emirates (11.5%), South Africa (6.4%), Peru (6.0%), Bolivia (4.6%), Ghana (3.9%), Guinea (3.7%), United States (3.4%), Hong Kong (2.8%), and United Kingdom (1.9%).
Diamonds: United Arab Emirates (26% of total), United States (21.5%), Belgium (20.9%), Hong Kong (14.6%), Russia (3.6%), Israel (3.4%), South Africa (3.1%), Botswana (2.9%), Thailand (1.2%), and Japan (0.8%).
Coal: Australia (33.1% of total), Indonesia (30.5%), South Africa (14.1%), United States (7.2%), Russia (4.3%), Canada (2.7%), Singapore (2.3%), Mozambique (also 2.3%), Colombia (1.6%), and Switzerland (0.8%).
Phones: China (45.5% of total), Hong Kong (19.9%), Vietnam (11.6%), Singapore (4.4%), South Korea (3.4%), United States (3.3%), Taiwan (2.8%), Malaysia (1.9%), Mexico (1.6%), and France (1.1%).
Computers: China (51.7% of total), Singapore (14.6%), Hong Kong (12.7%), United States (4.7%), Malaysia (3.2%), Taiwan (3.0%), Thailand (2.1%), Ireland (1.6%), Vietnam (1.5%), and Mexico (1.3%).
More great research: India’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, China’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, South Africa’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: India Economy.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Trading Economics, India Consumer Spending.
Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.
World’s Top Exports, India’s Top 10 Imports.