India-China bilateral trade declines by 3.59 percent 

Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 11 July 2019) – The bilateral trade between India and China has declined by 3.59% year on year, totalling $36.87 billion in the first five months of this year, denting optimism that the total trade volume may cross $100 billion mark in 2019.

The India-China bilateral trade last year touched a historic high of $95.54 billion, raising hopes that the trade this year could cross the historic $100 billion mark.

The trade deficit in 2018, according to Chinese official data, climbed to $57.86 billion from $51.72 billion in 2017.

As per the latest data released by Chinese customs, the bilateral trade in the first five months of 2019 has declined by 3.59% year on year amounting to $36.87 billion.

In the same period, India’s exports to China declined by 1.62% to reach $7.70 billion while Chinese exports to India decelerated by 4.10% to total $29.17 billion.

In May this year, the bilateral trade declined by a significant 5.04%, totalling $8.18 billion year on year.

India’s exports to China in May 2019 stood at $1.52 billion, decreasing by 7.15%, while Chinese exports have declined by 4.54%, standing at $6.66 billion.After the bilateral trade crossed $95 billion last year which was a historic high, officials in recent months expressed optimism that the bilateral trade for the first time may cross $100 billion. But the trend of decline may make it difficult unless the trade volumes picks up later in the year.

Indian exports of fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates to China continued to show a sharp increase, registering a robust growth of 394.97% from January-May 2019 to reach $392.38 million.

Export of Indian grapes to China grew by 165.28% year-on-year to reach $13.26 million. Export of Indian sugar to China stood at $7.77 million.

India was the largest exporter of coffee, tea, mate and spices to China (46.97% share) with value of $168.42 million.

This was mainly due to the growth in exports to China of spices, having more than 90% share totalling $156.86 million. India was the third largest exporter of fisheries 6.98% share, fifth largest exporter of fresh grapes 2.68% share, and cane and beet sugar to China 2.12% share.

Major commodities of Chinese exports to India were electronic items 26.12%, electrical equipment, organic chemicals, plastics and fertilizers. Import of electrical machinery and equipment have been witnessing decline of more than 20% year-on-year for the last 4 months.

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