US remains top export destination for India with shipments worth $47.9 bn last fiscal: Commerce ministry data

New Delhi: The US has emerged as the top export destination for India, with $47.9 billion worth of shipments last fiscal, followed by UAE and Hong Kong, as per the commerce ministry data.

"USA was India's top export market during April-March 2018 with exports reaching $47.9 billion, followed by UAE ($28.1 billion) and Hong Kong ($14.7 billion)," the department of commerce said in a series of tweets.

In 2016-17, the country's shipments to America stood at $42.2 billion.

The other key destinations include China, Singapore, UK, Germany, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Nepal.

The top ten exporting products last fiscal included petroleum; pearls, precious, semiprecious stones; pharmaceuticals; engineering goods; chemicals; textiles and rice.

According to trade experts, the US would always be the main export destination for domestic exporters as it accounts for about 16 percent of India's total merchandise shipments.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

"It is a very big market for us as the US is largest economy in the world. We need to give special focus on this market as it is going to be an important destination for our exports," Professor at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Rakesh Mohan Joshi said.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Direct General Ajay Sahai said that the US, being the biggest consumer, is extremely important for sectors such as apparels and made ups, leather footwear, pharma and engineering.

"We should push those exports which account for major imports into US so as to achieve quantum jump in exports," he said.

Further in terms of imports, China was India's largest source country for imports during 2017-18 with $76.3 billion.

This was followed by America ($26 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($22.1 billion).

Top imported products in India during April-March 2018 were petroleum crude ($87.4 billion) followed by pearls and semi precious stones ($34.2 billion) and gold ($33.7 billion).

In 2017-18, exports recorded a growth of about 10 percent to $303 billion. Imports on the other hand totalled nearly $460 billion, leaving a trade deficit of about $157 billion.

Higher growth in outbound shipments helps create employment opportunities, earn foreign exchange and boost economic activities.

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Updated Date: Jun 05, 2018 17:44:47 IST

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