BEIJING: After years of decline, Indian exports to China rose sharply in the first four months of this year registering a 20 per cent increase to USD 5.57 billion, though the trade deficit continued to persist.
Indian exports received a major boost mainly due to China increasing the steel consumption by importing big quantity of iron ore as well as gems and diamonds besides cotton materials.
The India-China trade grew by six per cent to USD 26.02 billion from January to April this year, according to the data of China's customs.
As per the data, the Indian exports have gone up to USD 5.57 billion, registering a 20 per cent increase.
China's exports to India too amounted to USD 20.45 billion, a 14 per cent raise. The trade deficit problem for India, however, continued. The trade deficit in the first four months amounted to USD 14.88 billion in favour of China.
Last year, the deficit aggregated to around USD 52 billion in a little over USD 70 billion total bilateral trade becoming a thorny issue between the two countries.
But the spurt in Indian exports to China this year showed promise of recovery, the first since iron ore exports started declining in 2013 due domestic crackdown on mines as well as China scaling down its steel production due to global economic crisis.
The trade deficit began expanding ever since the iron ore exports, the main stay of Indian exports started declining. The iron ore exports from India to China in the first four months totalled to USD 1.04 billion jumped by about 45 per cent. Also, Indian exports of iron and steel rose by USD 218 million almost 300 per cent. Officials say there is a huge scope for Indian exports in this field as China's total volume of imports in 2016 was USD 15.816 billion. In 2015 China has imported USD 17.974 billion worth of diamond and precious stones.
Indian business and trade circles associated with the bilateral trade, however, advised caution saying that base of Indian exports continued to be small and it is to be seen whether the increase is sustainable in the long run.