Foreign Trade Overview

The new financial year 2023-24 began with record merchandise exports of US$ 34.66 billion in April 2023. Continuing the record-breaking performance, India’s merchandise exports were US$ 34.98 billion in May 2023. Merchandise Exports grew to US$ 32.97 billion in June 2023, US$ 32.25 billion in 2023, and are estimated to reach US$ 34.48 Billion in August 2023.

India’s overall exports (Merchandise and Services combined) in September 2023 are estimated to be US$ 63.84 Billion. With this, total merchandise exports for the period April to September 2023 reached US$ 211.40 billion. More details

Non-petroleum and non-gems & jewellery exports in September 2023 were estimated to be US$ 24.78 Billion. On the other hand, Non-petroleum, non-gems & jewellery (gold, silver & precious metals) imports were US$ 209.65 Billion in April-September 2023. More details

India’s merchandise imports were estimated to be US$ 53.84 billion in September 2023. Merchandise imports in April-September 2023 were US$ 326.98 billion, a decrease by US$ 45.58 billion over the same period of 2022. More details

The Minister for Commerce and Industry has urged the export community to target US$ 2 trillion exports by the year 2030, comprising US$ 1 trillion merchandise exports and US$ 1 trillion services exports. Further, addressing the Closing session of the Post-Budget Webinar on ‘Make in India for the World’, the Minister called for increasing India’s share in global trade to 10% and taking the share of exports to about 25% of national GDP.

Speaking at the launch of NIRYAT portal on 23 June 2022, Prime Minister emphasised that every ministry, every department of the government is giving priority to increasing exports with a ‘whole of government‘ approach, be it the Ministry of MSME or Ministry of External Affairs, Agriculture or Commerce.

India’s overall exports, covering merchandise and services, were reported at US$ 676.25 billion during the financial year 2021-22, a whopping increase of over 37% over the previous year. 

Merchandise exports during 2021-22 were recorded at an all-time high of US$ 421.85 billion – 44.56% higher than exports in 2020-21. 

Merchandise exports accounted for about 62.3% of total exports, with the top five export commodities being petroleum (crude), petroleum products, pearls & precious/semi-precious stones, iron & steel, drug formulations & biologicals and gold & other precious metals. The US, UAE, China, Bangladesh and Netherlands were the top destinations for India’s commodity exports in 2021-22.

India’s Services exports for the first time crossed US$ 250 billion during FY 2021-22, setting a new record of US$ 254.4 billion, beating the previous high of US$ 213.2 billion in 2019-20. In the month of March 2022, Services exports hit an all-time monthly high of US$ 26.9 billion 2021. Telecommunications, computer, and information services, other business services and Transport were the top contributors in Services exports. Also, Services exports hit an all-time monthly high of US$ 26.9 billion in March 2022. More details

As a result of the above, the share of exports (merchandise and services) in GDP increased from 18.7% in 2020-21 to 21.4% in 2021-22.

Merchandise imports in 2021-22 (US$612 billion), grew by about 55.16% compared to the previous year. The top five import commodities are petroleum (crude), petroleum products, gold, coal/coke/briquettes, pearls & semi-precious stones. China was the largest source of merchandise imports into India, followed by UAE, USA Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. More details

Exports of agricultural products (including marine and plantation products) for the year 2021-22 crossed USD 50 billion, highest level ever achieved for agriculture exports.  Wheat exports jumped nearly four-fold from $568 million in 2020-21 to touch $2.12 billion in 2021-22. Highest ever exports were also achieved for other staples like rice, sugar, other cereals and meat. More details

Exports of marine products reached an all-time high in 2021-22, growing by over 30% to US$ 7.76 billion. More details

Exports of Textiles and Apparel, including handicrafts during FY 2021-22 were recorded at the highest ever level of US$ 44.4 billion, posting a growth of 41% over the same period in 2020-21. Link

Exports of Gems and Jewellery surged by 71% during April-December 2021 over the same period in the previous year. Exports of Engineering Goods and Electronic Goods grew by 54% and 49% respectively, during April-December 2021 as compared to previous year. Exports of Marine Products also registered a growth of 35% during April-December 2021 as compared to the year 2020. 

For more details, please refer to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Reserve Bank of India.