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India’s imports from China coming back to normal

India’s imports from China coming back to normal

India’s imports from China, especially the large chunk of raw materials used to make finished products, is gradually coming back to normal. Inward shipment of goods from China had come to near halt after the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

However, with China managing to arrest the spread of the disease within its borders with most of its cities coming out of the shackle of COVID 19, imports to India eased up in the last three weeks. Sources said that arrangements have been made at the Indian ports for faster clearances of goods to ensure that the supply chain is not severely disrupted.

The silver lining is that the impact on large number of Indian factories, which are dependent on Chinese raw materials including active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) required for production of medicines such as antibiotics and lifestyle drugs, will be minimal. Typically, importers keep a buffer stock for 45 days to 60 days. So far the buffer stocks have been adequate to keep the supply chain of goods uninterrupted.

China is India’s largest trading partner. India’s imports stood over $60 billion in 2018-19—accounting for about 20 per cent of the total non-oil, non-gold goods. However, since December imports from China had practically come to a halt with the spread of the novel deadly virus.

India’s main imports from China comprises mobile phones, electronic equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, plastics, fertilisers, textiles, etc.

Sources, however, said that Indians are still wary of buying finished imported products such as mobile phones or toys, which are made in China.

Customers as well as traders refrained from buying any finished goods from China. According to an estimate made by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), Chinese goods worth about Rs 3,000 crore, which are typically sold during the festival of Holi, have gone waste, creating a huge dent in the retail business segment.

Covid-19 broke out in China in December after which it locked down its industries and halted production of goods. As many as 18 cities in China were also completely closed down. Industry sources said that China is fast getting back to normal as it has managed to successfully clamp down the spread of the disease. (Photo courtesy: Wikimedia.org).