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US pips China as India’s largest trading partner

NEW DELHI: The US has overtaken China as India’s largest trading partner, thanks to faster growth during the first nine months of 2021.
Data collated by the commerce department showed that during January-September, two-way trade between India and the US jumped 50% to $28 billion. A comparatively slower 46% rise with China saw bilateral trade increase to $25.3 billion.
China has, however, narrowly managed to retain the top spot during the first four months of the current financial year, for which disaggregated data is available with the government. During April-July, India’s trade with China was estimated at $36.6 billion, against $36.5 with the US. During the first nine months of 2021, a low base and pent-up demand have seen overall trade jump 50% to $231 billion. Countries such as Australia, the UAE and Belgium are seeing a much sharper increase.
Data collated by the commerce department showed that among the major trading partners, the steepest increase was in the case of South Africa, which saw an increase of 91.4% to $5.9 billion. Similarly, in the case of Australia, trade jumped over 85% to $6.4 billion. Trade with Belgium increased by nearly 80% to $6 billion, while UAE saw a rise of 67%, with the value of trade pegged at $20 billion.
For some of the Asian trading partners, the rise was comparatively slower. For instance, during January-September, trade with Indonesia increased by 48.4% to $6.1 billion, while that with Thailand was 60% higher at $3.8 billion. A large part of the increase in trade is on account of higher commodity prices, especially metals, with oil prices accounting for the surge in recent months.

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