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India exported more and imported less from China in 2020 amid border friction


India’s exports to China jumped 16% in the first 11 months of the year despite ongoing military border friction and the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, latest data from Chinese customs showed on Monday.

By contrast, India imported less from China over the same period, showing a 13% drop, data cited by state media showed.

Chinese state media were quick to point out that Indian exports to China continued to rise because Beijing has failed to politicize border friction along the Royal Line of Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, ongoing since May, while New Delhi has put a brake on Chinese exports.

The drop in Chinese exports to India was also the result of falling domestic demand in India due to the pandemic, the Global Times tabloid said in a report on the latest bilateral trade figures on Monday.

“According to customs data released on Monday, China exported $ 59 billion worth of goods to India from January to November in US dollar terms, down 13%. The drop has been slightly reduced compared to a 16.2% drop in the first 10 months of this year, ”the article adds.

“However, China’s imports from India increased 16% during this period, showing that China has refrained from politicizing economic interactions with the neighboring country,” the article said, citing experts.

It is also due to the growing “harmful attitude” of the Indian government towards China as it mounts repressive measures, including increasing tariff barriers, to restrict the entry of Chinese-made products into India, he added.

“By comparison, China continues to import more from India despite political frictions,” he said, adding: “China’s imports from India amounted to around $ 19 billion in value in the first 11 months, up 16%. “.

According to data compiled by the Indian embassy in Beijing, India was the largest export destination for Chinese organic chemicals, fertilizers, antibiotics, and aluminum foil in 2019.

“India’s main exports to China included organic chemicals, iron ores, unfinished diamonds, fish and shellfish, cotton, granite stone, etc.,” data from the Indian embassy showed.

It was in 2019 that India’s trade deficit with China narrowed for the first time in more than a decade.

“In 2019, India’s trade deficit with China narrowed slightly by 2%, the first such decline since 2005 and stood at $ 56.95 billion.”

India-China bilateral trade in 2019 reached $ 92.89 billion.

In 2019, India was China’s twelfth largest trading partner, after the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil, and Russia.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media has been cautious about China’s purchase of Indian rice, saying it is due to the cost advantage the deal offers.

Last week, China, for the first time in decades, began importing Indian rice in large part because of a supply at reduced prices.

Indian traders contracted to export 100,000 tonnes of broken rice for shipments from December to February at about $ 300 a tonne free on board, according to a Reuters report from New Delhi.

“The purchase was a purely commercial move, as the price of Indian rice – $ 300 per ton – is much cheaper than its domestic counterparts, and the rice will primarily serve as animal feed rather than human food,” Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of cngrain.com, a website specializing in grain news, told state media.

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