India’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries

The Republic of India imported US$368 billion worth of products from around the globe during 2020, down by -23.2% from $478.9 billion in 2019.

This article presents a quick reference snapshot of India’s main imported products categorized by dollar amount and major trading partners.

Data is organized by overall metrics then drill down to India’s most valuable imports during 2020 for each of India’s top 10 supplier countries. Those leading trading partners accounted for well over half (55.9%) of India’s import purchases.

Product categories shown summarize calculations at the two-digit Harmonized System code level. Two-digit codes enable higher-level insights and trends for Indian imports and each of the top supplier countries.

India’s Main Imports from China

India shares its second-longest land border with China (after Bangladesh). This geography proximity facilitates trade between the neighboring Asian countries.

In 2020, China’s exports to India amounted to $58.8 billion or 16% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -14% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 87% of India’s imports from mainland China.

  1. Electronic equipment: $17.8 billion
  2. Machinery: $12.4 billion
  3. Organic chemicals: $8.2 billion
  4. Plastics: $2.2 billion
  5. Fertilizers: $1.7 billion
  6. Medical, technical equipment: $1.6 billion
  7. Other chemical goods: $1.24 billion
  8. Iron or steel products: $1.23 billion
  9. Vehicles: $1.2 billion
  10. Iron and steel: $835.1 million
  11. Aluminum: $670.9 million
  12. Inorganic chemicals: $620 million
  13. Furniture, lighting, signs: $572.2 million
  14. Tanning, dyeing extracts: $520.8 million
  15. Man-made filaments: $446.3 million

The sole increase from 2019 to 2020 was for Indian imports from China under the medical or technical product category via an 8% gain in revenue.

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were furniture, lighting and signs (down -40.9%), aluminum (down -35.3%), iron and steel materials (down -33.8%), products made from iron or steel (down -27.2%), plastics as a material (down -23.3%), inorganic chemicals (down -21.6%), fertilizers (down -19.9%), man-made filaments (down -19%) and machinery (down -10.8%).

India’s Main Imports from the US

In 2020, the United States of America’s exports to India amounted to $26.6 billion or 7.2% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -23.8% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 88.6% of India’s imports from the United States.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $6.9 billion
  2. Gems, precious metals: $4.5 billion
  3. Machinery: $2.8 billion
  4. Electronic equipment: $1.6 billion
  5. Organic chemicals: $1.5 billion
  6. Medical, technical equipment: $1.2 billion
  7. Plastics: $1.1 billion
  8. Fruits, nuts: $895.9 million
  9. Other chemical goods: $827 million
  10. Aluminum: $476.3 million
  11. Woodpulp: $468.2 million
  12. Inorganic chemicals: $458.4 million
  13. Iron and steel: $395.9 million
  14. Vehicles: $321.8 million
  15. Beverages: $308 million

The only increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from the US under the fruits and nuts (up 4.9%) and beverages (up 2.3%) product categories.

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were machinery (down -36.1%), woodpulp (down -34.8%), gems and precious metals (down -33.8%), electronic equipment (down -29.7%), iron and steel as materials (down -24.2%), medical or technical equipment (down -19.6%) then organic chemicals (down -17.4%) and mineral fuels including oil (down -17%).

India’s Main Imports from the UAE

In 2020, United Arab Emirates’ exports to India amounted to $23.9 billion or 6.5% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -21.1% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 97.1% of India’s imports from the UAE.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $11.9 billion
  2. Gems, precious metals: $6.8 billion
  3. Plastics: $737.6 million
  4. Ships, boats: $723.6 million
  5. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $528.6 million
  6. Copper: $479.1 million
  7. Iron and steel: $386.3 million
  8. Machinery: $310.2 million
  9. Aluminum: $284.3 million
  10. Fruits, nuts: $255.5 million
  11. Fertilizers: $252.9 million
  12. Electronic equipment: $220.5 million
  13. Organic chemicals: $131.8 million
  14. Inorganic chemicals: $104 million
  15. Ores, slag, ash: $59.8 million

Fastest increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from the UAE under the inorganic chemicals product category (up 84.7%), ores, slag and ash (up 77.9%), fruits and nuts (up 24.6%) then ships and boats (up 14.3%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were iron and steel as materials (down -37.3%), organic chemicals (down -27.2%), copper (down -26.2%), gems and precious metals (down -22%), mineral fuels including oil (down -19.8%), fertilizers (down -18.5%) and machinery (down -15.4%).

India’s Main Imports from Saudi Arabia

In 2020, Saudi Arabia’s exports to India amounted to $17.7 billion or 4.8% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -34.4% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 99.4% of India’s imports from Saudi Arabia.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $14.7 billion
  2. Fertilizers: $837.1 million
  3. Organic chemicals: $731 million
  4. Plastics: $518.5 million
  5. Inorganic chemicals: $208.9 million
  6. Aluminum: $197.2 million
  7. Other chemical goods: $136.7 million
  8. Copper: $111.4 million
  9. Gems, precious metals: $62.7 million
  10. Iron and steel: $45.7 million
  11. Raw hides excluding furskins: $26.7 million
  12. Woodpulp: $20 million
  13. Ores, slag, ash: $16.7 million
  14. Rubber: $14.2 million
  15. Tanning, dyeing extracts: $13.8 million

The only increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from Saudi Arabia were under the iron and steel as materials product category (up 11.5%) and inorganic chemicals (up 0.4%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were gems and precious metals (down -78.8%), ores, slags and ash (down -73%), tanning and dyeing extracts (down -52.8%), mineral fuels including oil (down -18.6%), woodpulp (down -18.8%), fertilizers (down -18.6%), raw hides excluding furskins (down -16.2%), plastics (down -15.9%) and rubber (down -13.6%).

India’s Main Imports from Iraq

In 2020, Iraq’s exports to India amounted to $16.2 billion or 4.4% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -26.8% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 99.9996% of India’s imports from Iraq.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $16.1 billion
  2. Fruits, nuts: $73.8 million
  3. Ships, boats: $20.8 million
  4. Other chemical goods: $1.2 million
  5. Raw hides excluding furskins: $944,000
  6. Wool: $426,000
  7. Machinery: $98,000
  8. Fertilizers: $67,000
  9. Medical, technical equipment: $33,000
  10. Iron or steel products: $22,000
  11. Electronic equipment: $6,000
  12. Base metal tools, cutlery: $2,000
  13. Vehicles: $2,000
  14. Other manufactured products: $2,000
  15. Rubber: $2,000

Fastest increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from Iraq under the ships and boats product category (up 7,314%), fertilizers (up 1,575%), miscellaneous chemical goods (up 588.2%), medical or technical equipment (up 200%), products made from iron or steel (up 175%) and machinery (up 139%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were vehicles (down -95.6%), raw hides excluding furskins (down -47.2%) and mineral fuels including oil (down -27%).

India’s Main Imports from Hong Kong

In 2020, Hong Kong’s exports to India amounted to $14.6 billion or 4% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -16.1% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 96.5% of India’s imports from Hong Kong.

  1. Electronic equipment: $7.2 billion
  2. Gems, precious metals: $4.2 billion
  3. Machinery: $1.5 billion
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $304.1 million
  5. Plastics: $241.6 million
  6. Organic chemicals: $141.9 million
  7. Woodpulp: $79.8 million
  8. Aluminum: $76.4 million
  9. Clocks, watches: $58.6 million
  10. Iron and steel: $53 million
  11. Mineral fuels including oil: $50 million
  12. Iron or steel products: $42 million
  13. Other chemical goods: $40.6 million
  14. Special woven/tufted fabric: $39.8 million
  15. Other base metal goods: $37.1 million

Fastest increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from Hong Kong under the medical or technical product category (up 32.2%), machinery (up 17.9%) and miscellaneous chemical goods (up 10.8%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were clocks and watches (down -54.1%), iron or steel as materials (down -51.5%), mineral fuels including oil (down -45.8%), aluminum (down -44.5%) and special woven or tufted fabric (down -43.2%).

India’s Main Imports from Singapore

In 2020, Singapore’s exports to India amounted to $12.3 billion or 3.3% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -17.4% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 92.4% of India’s imports from Singapore.

  1. Electronic equipment: $2.5 billion
  2. Machinery: $2.2 billion
  3. Ships, boats: $1.14 billion
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.11 billion
  5. Organic chemicals: $938.3 million
  6. Plastics: $812.3 million
  7. Medical, technical equipment: $732.4 million
  8. Gems, precious metals: $512.4 million
  9. Other chemical goods: $341.9 million
  10. Iron and steel: $288.1 million
  11. Animal/vegetable fats and oils: $223.4 million
  12. Rubber: $202 million
  13. Vehicles: $137.9 million
  14. Iron or steel products: $103.5 million
  15. Tanning, dyeing extracts: $88.3 million

Fastest increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from Singapore under the iron and steel product category (up 70.3%) then gems and precious metals (up 1.9%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were tanning and dyeing extracts (down -37.4%), vehicles (down -36.7%), iron and steel as materials (down -35.2%), mineral fuels including oil (down -28.7%), plastics (down -28.3%), rubber (down -28%), organic chemicals (down -26.4%) then products made from iron or steel (down -25.7%).

India’s Main Imports from South Korea

In 2020, South Korea’s exports to India amounted to $12.2 billion or 3.3% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -24.5% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 89.6% of India’s imports from South Korea.

  1. Electronic equipment: $2.3 billion
  2. Machinery: $1.6 billion
  3. Iron and steel: $1.5 billion
  4. Plastics: $1.3 billion
  5. Vehicles: $766.9 million
  6. Organic chemicals: $765.9 million
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $643 million
  8. Other chemical goods: $354.5 million
  9. Medical, technical equipment: $325.4 million
  10. Pharmaceuticals: $275.7 million
  11. Iron or steel products: $259 million
  12. Zinc: $235.1 million
  13. Rubber: $224.2 million
  14. Base metal tools, cutlery: $176.8 million
  15. Inorganic chemicals: $144.8 million

The only increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from South Korea under the pharmaceuticals product category (up 652.8%) and miscellaneous chemical goods (up 62.6%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were iron and steel as materials (down -39.4%), organic chemicals (down -36.3%), machinery (down -30%), inorganic chemicals (down -29.3%), medical or technical equipment (down -28.1%), products made from iron or steel (down -27.1%) then tools or cutlery made from base metal (down -26.6%).

India’s Main Imports from Indonesia

In 2020, Indonesia’s exports to India amounted to $12 billion or 3.3% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -22.8% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 90.2% of India’s imports from Indonesia.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $5.1 billion
  2. Animal/vegetable fats and oils: $3.3 billion
  3. Other chemical goods: $352.8 million
  4. Fertilizers: $274 million
  5. Iron and steel: $248.9 million
  6. Ores, slag, ash: $246 million
  7. Rubber: $232.8 million
  8. Inorganic chemicals: $174.5 million
  9. Organic chemicals: $150.5 million
  10. Machinery: $146.1 million
  11. Tin: $132 million
  12. Electronic equipment: $122.8 million
  13. Coffee, tea, spices: $122.2 million
  14. Wood: $118.1 million
  15. Soaps, lubricants, candles: $115.1 million

Fastest increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from Indonesia under the ores, slag and ash product category (up 162.8%), soaps, lubricants and candles (up 39.2%), fertilizers (up 28.8%), animal or vegetable fats and oils (up 22.6%) coffee, tea and spices (up 9.4%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were iron and steel (down -69.5%), inorganic chemicals (down -43.8%), organic chemicals (down -32%), mineral fuels including oil (down -28.8%) then electronic equipment (down -27.4%).

India’s Main Imports from Switzerland

In 2020, Switzerland’s exports to India amounted to $11.3 billion or 3.1% of overall Indian imports.

That dollar amount represents a -36.2% drop compared to 2019.

By value, the 15 major product categories listed below represent 98.3% of India’s imports from Switzerland.

  1. Gems, precious metals: $9.5 billion
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $347.8 million
  3. Machinery: $250 million
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $211.1 million
  5. Mineral fuels including oil: $173.3 million
  6. Electronic equipment: $137.7 million
  7. Animal/vegetable fats and oils: $133.4 million
  8. Organic chemicals: $131 million
  9. Clocks, watches: $105.2 million
  10. Other chemical goods: $43.8 million
  11. Plastics: $37.8 million
  12. Iron and steel: $32.9 million
  13. Perfumes, cosmetics: $19 million
  14. Modified starches, enzymes: $15.4 million
  15. Iron or steel products: $14.6 million

A trio of increases from 2019 to 2020 were for Indian imports from Switzerland under the miscellaneous chemical goods product category (up 27.7%), pharmaceuticals (up 19.4%) and modified starches or enzymes (up 14.6%).

Posting the severest declines among India’s top 15 imported products were perfumes and cosmetics (down -38.6%), gems and precious metals (up down -38.4%), plastics as a material (down -37.1%), iron and steel as materials (down -34.3%), animal or vegetable fats and oils (down -34.2%), clocks and watches (down -31.1%), medical or technical equipment (down -28.2%), machinery (down -27.1%) then mineral fuels including oil (down -20.1%).

See also

More great research: World’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, India’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Sri Lanka’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational sources.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Wikipedia, India, Borders of India.

World’s Top Exports, Import News.

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