India-EU – international trade in goods statistics


Data extracted in March 2019.
Planned article update March 2020.
Highlights


In 2018 India (2 %) was the ninth largest partner for EU exports of goods and also the ninth largest partner for EU imports of goods (2 %).
Among EU Member States, the United Kingdom was the largest importer of goods from India and Germany was the largest exporter of goods to India in 2018.

Imports, exports and trade balance in goods between the EU and India, 2008-2018

This article provides a picture of the international trade in goods between the European Union (EU) and India. It analyses the type of goods exchanged between the two economies and the shares of each EU Member State in those exchanges.

This article is part of an online publication providing recent statistics on international trade in goods, covering information on the EU's main partners, main products traded, specific characteristics of trade as well as background information.

Full article

EU and India in world trade in goods

Figure 1a shows the position of India among the largest traders in the world. The four largest exporters were China (EUR 2 004 billion, 16 %), the EU (EUR 1 879 billion, 15 %), the United States (EUR 1 368 billion, 11 %) and Japan (EUR 618 billion, 5 %). The four largest importers were the United States (EUR 2 131 billion, 17 %), the EU (EUR 1 857 billion, 15 %), China (EUR 1 632 billion, 13 %) and Japan (EUR 594 billion, 5 %). Figure 1b has some more details. It shows that India (EUR 261 billion, 2 %) was the 14th largest exporter in the world between Switzerland (EUR 265 billion, 2 %) and Australia (EUR 204 billion, 2 %). It was the seventh largest importer in the world (EUR 393 billion, 3 %) between South Korea (EUR 424 billion, 3 %) and Canada (EUR 383 billion, 3 %).

Figure 1a: The position of India among the world's largest traders of goods, 2017
source: Eurostat (ext_lt_introle)

Figure 1b: Top 25 importers and exporters of goods in the world with a focus on India, 2017 (EUR billion)
source: Eurostat (ext_lt_introle)


Figure 2 shows the imports and exports of the EU and India indexed at 100 in 2007 for the period to 2017. It also shows the cover ratio (exports / imports) for this period. Exports from the EU were lowest in 2009 (89) and highest in 2017 (152). Imports to the EU were lowest in 2009 (85) and highest in 2017 (128). The cover ratio for the EU was lowest in 2008 (83 %) and highest in 2015 (104 %) and was 101 % in 2017. Exports from India were lowest in 2007 (100) and highest in 2017 (245). Imports to India were lowest in 2007 (100) and highest in 2017 (246). The cover ratio for India was lowest in 2008 (58 %) and highest in 2016 (73 %) and was 66 % in 2017.

Figure 2: Trade in goods of the EU-28 and India (2007 = 100) and cover ratio (%), 2007 to 2017
source: Eurostat (ext_lt_introle)


Both exports to and imports from India rose between 2008 and 2018

Figure 3a shows the position of India among the largest trade partners of the EU in 2018. The four largest export partners of the EU were the United States (21 %), China (11 %), Switzerland (8 %) and Russia (4 %). The four largest import partners of the EU were China (20 %), the United States (13 %), Russia (8 %) and Switzerland (6 %). Figure 3b has some more details. It shows that India (EUR 46 billion, 2.3 %) was the ninth largest export partner of the EU, between South Korea (EUR 49 billion, 2.5 %) and Canada (EUR 41 billion, 2.1 %). In imports India (EUR 46 billion, 2.3 %) was the ninth largest partner of the EU, between South Korea (EUR 51 billion, 2.6 %) and Vietnam (EUR 38 billion, 1.9 %).

Figure 3a: The position of India among the EU-28's main partners for trade in goods, 2018
source: Eurostat (ext_lt_maineu)

Figure 3b: Top 20 import and export partners for trade of goods of the EU with a focus on India, 2018 (EUR billion)
source: Eurostat (ext_lt_maineu)

Figure 4 shows exports, imports and trade balance between the EU and India. In 2008 the EU had a trade surplus with India of EUR 2 billion. This changed to a deficit in 2013 and remained so until 2017 while in 2018 trade was almost balanced. EU exports to India were highest in 2018 (EUR 46 billion) and lowest in 2009 (EUR 27 billion). EU imports from India were highest in 2018 (EUR 46 billion) and lowest in 2009 (EUR 26 billion).

Figure 4: Imports, exports and balance for trade in goods between the EU-28 and India, 2008-2018 (EUR billion)
source: Eurostat (ext_lt_maineu)


EU-India trade by type of goods

Figure 5 shows the breakdown of EU trade with India by SITC groups. The red colours denote the primary products: food & drink, raw materials and energy, while the blue colours show the manufactured goods: chemicals, machinery & vehicles and other manufactured goods. Finally, other goods are shown in green. In 2018, EU exports of manufactured goods (89 %) had a higher share than primary goods (9 %). The most exported manufactured goods were machinery & vehicles (43 %), followed by other manufactured products (32 %) and chemicals (14 %). In 2018, EU imports of manufactured goods (83 %) also had a higher share than primary goods (17 %). The most imported manufactured goods were other manufactured products (49 %), followed by machinery & vehicles (17 %) and chemicals (17 %).

Figure 5: EU-28 exports to and imports from India by product group, 2008 and 2018 (EUR billion)
source: Eurostat DS-018995


Figure 6 shows the evolution of EU imports and exports by SITC group since 2008. In 2018, the EU had trade surpluses in machinery & vehicles (EUR 11.8 billion), raw materials (EUR 1.1 billion) and other products (EUR 0.9 billion). The EU had trade deficits in chemicals (EUR 1.4 billion), food & drink (EUR 2.4 billion), energy (EUR 2.4 billion) and other manufactured products (EUR 7.7 billion).

Figure 6: EU-28 trade with India by product group, 2008-2018 (EUR billion)
source: Eurostat DS-018995


EU-India most traded goods

Another interesting way to look at the data is to investigate the cover ratio (exports / imports) of traded goods, showing the direction of the trade flows between the two economies. These ratios can be found in the right-hand margin of Figure 7. Eight products have ratios below 50, indicating EU imports from India are at least twice a large as EU exports to India. Seven products have ratios above 200, indicating EU exports to India are at least twice as large as EU imports from India. Five products have ratios between 50 and 200, showing more balanced trade.

Figure 7: Most traded goods between EU-28 and India, top 20 of SITC level 3 products, 2018 (EUR billion)
source: Eurostat DS-018995


Trade with India by Member State

Figure 8a shows the EU imports from India by Member State. The three largest importers from India in the EU were the United Kingdom (EUR 8 013 million), Germany (EUR 7 071 million) and Italy (EUR 5 538 million). Malta (10 %) held the highest share for India in its total extra-EU imports.

Table 8a: EU-28 imports of goods from India by Member State, 2018
source: Eurostat DS-018995


Figure 8b shows the EU exports to India by Member State. The three largest exporters to India in the EU were Germany (EUR 12 505 million), Belgium (EUR 7 920 million) and France (EUR 5 982 million). Belgium (7 %) held the highest share for India in its total extra-EU exports.

Table 8b: EU-28 exports of goods to India by Member State, 2018
source: Eurostat DS-018995


Figure 8c shows the trade balance between the EU Member States and India. Ten Member States had a trade surplus with India. The largest was held by Germany (EUR 5 434 million), followed by Belgium (EUR 3 012 million) and France (EUR 1 073 million). Eighteen Member States had a trade deficit with India. The largest was held by the United Kingdom (EUR 2 458 million), followed by Spain (EUR 2 429 million) and the Netherlands (EUR 2 013 million).

Table 8c: EU-28 trade balance of goods with India by Member State, 2018 (EUR million)
source: Eurostat DS-018995



Data sources

EU data is taken from Eurostat's COMEXT database. COMEXT is the reference database for international trade in goods. It provides access not only to both recent and historical data from the EU Member States but also to statistics of a significant number of third countries. International trade aggregated and detailed statistics disseminated via the Eurostat website are compiled from COMEXT data according to a monthly process.

Data are collected by the competent national authorities of the Member States and compiled according to a harmonised methodology established by EU regulations before transmission to Eurostat. For extra-EU trade, the statistical information is mainly provided by the traders on the basis of customs declarations.

EU data are compiled according to Community guidelines and may, therefore, differ from national data published by the Member States. Statistics on extra-EU trade are calculated as the sum of trade of each of the 28 EU Member States with countries outside the EU. In other words, the EU is considered as a single trading entity and trade flows are measured into and out of the area, but not within it.

Data for the other major traders are taken from the Comtrade database of the United Nations. Data availability differs among countries, therefore Figure 1 shows the latest common available year for all the main traders. For the calculation of shares the world trade is defined as the sum of EU trade with non-EU countries (source: Eurostat) plus the international trade of non-EU countries (source: IMF Dots database).

Methodology

According to the EU concepts and definitions, extra-EU trade statistics (trade between EU Member States and non-EU countries) do not record exchanges involving goods in transit, placed in a customs warehouse or given temporary admission (for trade fairs, temporary exhibitions, tests, etc.). This is known as ‘special trade’. The partner is the country of final destination of the goods for exports and the country of origin for imports.

Product classification

Information on commodities exported and imported is presented according to the Standard international trade classification (SITC). A full description is available from Eurostat’s classification server RAMON.

Unit of measure

Trade values are expressed in millions or billions (109) of euros. They correspond to the statistical value, i.e. to the amount which would be invoiced in case of sale or purchase at the national border of the reporting country. It is called a FOB value (free on board) for exports and a CIF value (cost, insurance, freight) for imports.

Context

Trade is an important indicator of Europe’s prosperity and place in the world. The bloc is deeply integrated into global markets both for the products it sources and the exports it sells. The EU trade policy is an important element of the external dimension of the ‘Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ and is one of the main pillars of the EU’s relations with the rest of the world.

Because the 28 EU Member States share a single market and a single external border, they also have a single trade policy. EU Member States speak and negotiate collectively, both in the World Trade Organization, where the rules of international trade are agreed and enforced, and with individual trading partners. This common policy enables them to speak with one voice in trade negotiations, maximising their impact in such negotiations. This is even more important in a globalised world in which economies tend to cluster together in regional groups.

The openness of the EU’s trade regime has meant that the EU is the biggest player on the global trading scene and remains a good region to do business with. Thanks to the ease of modern transport and communications, it is now easier to produce, buy and sell goods around the world which gives European companies of every size the potential to trade outside Europe.

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International trade in goods - long-term indicators (t_ext_go_lti)
International trade in goods - short-term indicators (t_ext_go_sti)
International trade in goods - aggregated data (ext_go_agg)
International trade in goods - long-term indicators (ext_go_lti)
International trade in goods - short-term indicators (ext_go_sti)
International trade in goods - detailed data (detail)
EU trade since 1988 by SITC (DS-018995)