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What items does China purchase from India?

What items does China purchase from India?

In the complex web of global trade, India stands as a significant player in both exporting to and importing from China. While the spotlight often falls on China’s exports to the United States, India’s role in supplying various goods to China remains lesser-known yet crucial. Let’s dive into the nuanced tapestry of this trade relationship.

India’s Exports to China

India boasts a diverse export portfolio to China, encompassing commodities spanning multiple industries. These include:

  • Mineral and Petroleum-Based Fuels

India’s mineral resources and refined petroleum-based fuels hold a substantial market in China.

  • Copper and Copper Alloys

Refined copper and its alloys constitute a significant chunk of India’s exports to China.

  • Textile Materials

Cotton yarn, unprocessed cotton, and other textile derivatives find their way into China’s market from Indian suppliers.

  • Building Stones

Granite, sandstone, basalt, and porphyry are in demand for construction purposes.

  • Metals and Ores

Iron ores, pyrites, and aluminium derivatives are among the metals India exports.

  • Agricultural and Consumer Goods

A variety of agricultural produce, including grains and tobacco, along with durable consumer goods, contribute to this trade flow.

China’s Exports to India

The flow of goods from China to India is equally diverse and impactful. Notable products include:

  • Electronics and Components

A wide array of electronic components, from those for mobile phones to computers, constitute a significant chunk of China’s exports.

  • Chemicals and Machinery

Organic compounds, nuclear reactors, and machinery components are essential imports from China.

  • Automobile Components and Toys

Vital parts for vehicles and recreational items like toys are part of China’s export portfolio.

  • Telecom Equipment and Pharmaceuticals

China plays a pivotal role in supplying telecom infrastructure and crucial pharmaceutical intermediaries to India.

Evaluating the Trade Dynamics

While India maintains a trade surplus with the United States, it faces a substantial deficit with China. The imbalance has prompted initiatives like the Atma Nirbhar Bharat plan, aimed at reducing dependence on Chinese imports. However, transitioning away from such extensive reliance is a complex task and may lead to economic adjustments and increased costs in the short term.

Navigating Future Trade Landscapes

In the wake of geopolitical tensions and changing global dynamics, India is reevaluating its trade relationships. Efforts to bolster domestic manufacturing and attract foreign investments signal a strategic move to reduce reliance on Chinese imports, particularly in critical sectors like pharmaceuticals, telecom, and manufacturing.


The intricate trade relationship between India and China reflects a delicate balance of imports and exports across multiple industries. As India charts its course towards self-reliance and seeks to diversify its trade partners, the evolving landscape presents both challenges and opportunities. The path ahead involves strategic planning, bolstering domestic production, and enticing global investors—a journey pivotal for India’s economic growth and global positioning.


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