What does India import?

by Manshu on January 2, 2012

in Economy

After the post on what India exports – I got a few emails on the import composition and here is a post on what India imports. This composition will probably not surprise many as most of the imports are oil and gold which have been written about quite extensively over the past few months.

The data for this comes from the Department of Commerce website, which has a great tool that can help you slice and dice this data in many different ways.

I took a list of the top 50 commodities that were imported in the April to September 2011 time period, but the chart is restricted to just the top 10 commodities because that’s the bulk of it and is a lot more readable.

Here is a chart that shows the break – up of the top 10 commodities that India imported in the April – September 2011 time period.

What does India Import?

What does India Import?

Here is the complete list of the top fifty imports.

Dated: 27/12/2011
Values in US$ Millions
(P) Provisional

Rank Commodity Apr-Sep  2010 Apr-Sep  2011(P) %Growth %Share
1 PETROLEUM, CRUDE & PRODUCTS 49,829.17 73,733.58 47.97 31.50
2 GOLD 17,459.40 28,639.85 64.04 12.23
3 ELECTRONIC GOODS 13,391.06 16,868.93 25.97 7.21
4 MACHRY EXCPT ELEC & ELECTRONIC 11,411.93 14,873.98 30.34 6.35
5 PERLS PRCUS SEMIPRCS STONES 14,920.60 14,010.02 -6.10 5.98
6 COAL,COKE & BRIQUITTES ETC. 5,871.44 8,634.54 47.06 3.69
7 ORGANIC CHEMICALS 5,660.97 6,716.15 18.64 2.87
8 METALIFERS ORES & METAL SCRAP 4,458.45 6,413.72 43.86 2.74
9 IRON & STEEL 5,197.44 5,136.70 -1.17 2.19
10 OTHER COMMODITIES 4,685.87 5,031.11 7.37 2.15
11 VEGETABLE OILS FIXED (EDIBLE) 3,085.47 4,826.36 56.42 2.06
12 TRANSPORT EQUIPMENTS 4,862.28 4,235.21 -12.90 1.81
13 PROJECT GOODS 3,005.92 3,896.30 29.62 1.66
14 ARTFCL RESNS,PLSTC MATRLS,ETC. 3,507.80 3,558.64 1.45 1.52
15 FERTILEZERS MANUFACTURED 4,024.62 3,268.97 -18.78 1.40
16 NON-FERROUS METALS 2,028.56 2,705.08 33.35 1.16
17 SILVER 667.02 2,622.86 293.22 1.12
18 INORGANIC CHEMICALS 1,897.49 2,588.69 36.43 1.11
19 PROFSNL INST,ETC EXCPT ELCTRNC 2,192.54 2,569.60 17.20 1.10
20 ELEC MACHRY EXCPT ELECTRONIC 1,814.25 2,348.85 29.47 1.00
21 CHEMICAL MATRL & PRODCTS 1,515.47 1,916.44 26.46 0.82
22 MANUFACTURES OF METALS 1,437.06 1,903.68 32.47 0.81
23 MACHINE TOOLS 986.03 1,504.69 52.60 0.64
24 MEDICINAL & PHRMACUTICL PRODTS 1,244.54 1,361.15 9.37 0.58
25 WOOD AND WOOD PRODUCTS 840.84 1,192.52 41.83 0.51
26 NON-METLC MNRL MNFS EXCL PERLS 751.36 998.43 32.88 0.43
27 COMP.SOFTWARE IN PHYSICAL FORM 403.71 951.03 135.57 0.41
28 OTH TXT YRN,FABS,MADEUP ARTL 730.12 927.89 27.09 0.40
29 SYNTHC & RECLMD RUBBER 530.80 888.56 67.40 0.38
30 PULSES 826.43 810.55 -1.92 0.35
31 PAPER BOARD & MANUFACTURES 623.58 793.71 27.28 0.34
32 CASHEW NUTS 349.24 763.75 118.69 0.33
33 DYENG,TANNG,COLRNG MATRLS 595.27 742.78 24.78 0.32
34 PULP AND WASTE PAPER 569.45 658.88 15.71 0.28
35 FERTILIZERS,CRUDE 356.83 610.66 71.13 0.26
36 M-MADE FMNT/SPUN YRN(INC.WAS) 418.71 518.01 23.72 0.22
37 NEWSPRINT 385.96 488.68 26.61 0.21
38 PRIMRY STEL,PIG IRON BASD ITMS 291.98 427.53 46.42 0.18
39 NATURAL RUBBER 379.66 426.30 12.29 0.18
40 FRUITS & NUTS EXCL CASHEW NUTS 313.82 415.13 32.28 0.18
41 PRNTD BOOKS,NWSPAPRS,JRNLS ETC 294.76 396.70 34.58 0.17
42 OTHER CRUDE MINERALS 224.68 292.45 30.17 0.12
43 LEATHER 210.37 240.68 14.41 0.10
44 SPICES 158.08 238.81 51.07 0.10
45 SULPHR & UNROSTD IRON PYRTS 107.46 235.91 119.52 0.10
46 WOOL, RAW 167.35 219.66 31.26 0.09
47 ESSENTIAL OIL & COSMETIC PREPN 178.25 214.03 20.07 0.09
48 SYNTHETIC & REGENERATED FIBRES 98.09 163.24 66.43 0.07
49 READYMADE G-MENTS(WOVN&KNIT) 92.52 144.23 55.90 0.06
50 COTTON YARN & FABRICS 134.92 140.04 3.80 0.06
Total 176,360.06 234,094.36 32.74 100.00

About one year ago I did a post on the countries from where India and US import their oil and that might be of interest to you as well.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

ANIL KUMAR KAPILA January 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hi Manshu
It is interesting to note that gold and pearls constitute a substantial part of our imports.

Reply

Manshu January 2, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Yeah and one of the things that occurred to me was that it should be gold ETF led demand which would have been a part of this import, and as gold prices cool off the gold imports should also cool off.

Reply

Raja January 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

What strikes me in this data are the figures for VEGETABLE OILS FIXED (EDIBLE), with a growth rate of 54% for the year.

This should be a low hanging fruit to plu(g). Not sure why we are still not self-sufficient on a basic Agri commodity. These days I see so many different types of oils on shopping mall shelves which were not popular say 10 years back like grape seed oil, cooking olive oil…

But still we have this scarcity… hmm… this one could be an interesting input for some one who wants to go into agri production.

Reply

Manshu January 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm

We produce a lot of milk, fruits, tea, coffee but it still isn’t cheap – on the contrary most Indians can’t even afford these things. I think it’s largely attributable to waste and inefficient public distribution system.

Reply

Raja January 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

From the point of view of making it available cheap for our country folks. Yes, you are right more production doesn’t imply cheap availability. But from the point of view of stopping the outgo of Forex for such a basic agri commodity, i think it makes sense for us as Indian’s to produce more of edible oil, isn’t it ? Unless of course there are other reasons like it’s much cheaper to import it than to produce or it takes some special type of soil which we don’t have in abundance. Oh by the way, just as a side note did you know India is the largest producer of Castor oil in the world. Any idea how does the price of castor oil (part of the normal lubricants) in India compare to that of the rest of the world ?

Reply

Mithlesh January 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hey Manshu!!

Happy new year and thanks for this excellent article again. Your blog is not just about presenting financial information. The way of presentation is by far the best i have seen across all such financial blogs. Cheers dude! Keep the great work up!

Reply

Manshu January 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Happy new year Mithlesh!

Thanks a lot – I want to reach the level I see very commonly in good infographics but I’m still quite some distance away from that. Hopefully I can get closer this year.

Reply

karmaloop 917 January 17, 2012 at 1:14 am

Hlw manshu . great job . it;s really a awesome article . keep it up

Reply

James April 25, 2012 at 12:52 am

India seems to be importing a ton of gold. Does this bode well for gold prices going into the future? Also, those oil imports could get complicated with the whole Iran situation.

Reply

chandan December 31, 2012 at 11:13 pm

i want a sub-distributer of consumer product.
please advice me.
thanks.

Reply

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