Washington/New Delhi: India’s trade with recession-hit US dropped 23.47% to $8.2 billion in January-March 2009, although exports of select items such as steel and apparels showed growth during the period.
Overall exports, however, fell by 22.63% to $5.22 billion in the the first quarter of the American financial year as arrivals of natural pearls, precious and semiprecious stones and pharmaceutical products declined.
Exports in the same period last year were $6.75 billion, according to data released by the US International Trade Commission.
India’s imports dipped by 24.9% to $2.96 billion in the first three months of 2009 over $3.94 billion in the year-ago period.
Trade between the two countries during January-March 2008 was $10.69 billion.
The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (Fieo) said the figures suggest that the US economy is still in recession and could start picking up in the first quarter of 2010.
“It (India-US trade) is in line with global change. The recession is worldwide and it cannot be decoupled,” Fieo director general Ajay Sahai said.
However, India’s exports of iron and steel increased to $476.3 million from $430.9 million in the first quarter of 2009. Similarly, consignments of organic chemicals, apparels and clothing accessories showed improvement.
As far as India’s imports from the US are concerned, aircraft, spacecraft and parts were the worst affected. Shipments of these items fell to $297.6 million in January-March 2009 from $1.2 billion in the same period last year.
In 2008, India’s exports to the US were $25.86 billion while imports were $17.33 billion.
The US accounted for about 12% of India’s total exports of $168.7 billion in Indian financial year 2008-09.