India is one of the United States’ most prolific global trading partners. The country is famous for its textiles industry, supplying fabric to many of the world’s top clothing brands — including those sold in the American Amazon marketplace.
Using U.S. import data, let’s examine how the trade relationship between the U.S. and India has changed over time, as well as the kinds of products the U.S. imports from India.
India’s global trade performance over time
India has consistently ranked among the five largest contributors to U.S. imports since at least 2015. This year, India has the third-largest share of total U.S. maritime imports, accounting for roughly 5% of all shipments of goods to U.S. ports. Its share of U.S. imports has grown over 28% since 2015, despite undergoing major setbacks in 2020.
India’s initial COVID-19 cases and deaths rose rapidly beginning in March 2020. At the same time, its share of U.S. imports dropped drastically — by as much as 75% in May 2020 — indicating pandemic-related economic and supply chain strain.
That said, India is back to positive year-over-year growth in the amount of products it sent to the U.S. in the first half of 2021. May and June showed the most notable increases, with 395% and 114% more shipments from India versus last year. Overall, imports from India from January to June 2021 are up 76% over the same period in 2020.
|Month in 2021||YoY Increase in Volume of U.S. Imports from India|
What kinds of products does the U.S. import from India?
Though the U.S. imports many different kinds of goods from India, the top product category by a large margin is textiles. The U.S. sources roughly double the amount of textiles as it does machinery products, the next-largest category imported goods from India.
|Import Category||Percent of U.S. Imports from India|
|Machinery / Electrical||11%|
|Chemicals & Allied Industries||10%|
|Stone / Glass||7%|
|Plastics / Rubbers||6%|
|Wood & Wood Products||3%|
|Animal & Animal Products||2%|
|Raw Hides, Skins, Leather, & Furs||1%|
|Footwear / Headgear||1%|
India is also a leading contributor to U.S. imports of footwear, mineral products, and raw hides and furs. Together, these categories constitute less than 5% of India’s overall trade portfolio with the U.S.—a testament to the sheer volume of America’s imports from India.
Using Jungle Scout’s Supplier Database, we can find out which popular Amazon products are sourced from Indian manufacturers.
Textiles account for 23% of the U.S.’s imports from India. This category includes yarn, thread, and fabric, as well as clothing, carpets, and bed linens.
About 11% of U.S. imports from India are categorized as metals. This category includes aluminum foil, scissors, and cutlery. Columbian Home Products is an example of a brand available on Amazon that sources from India.
Machinery & Electrical
Another 11% of U.S. imports from India are machinery or electrical products. This category covers a range of items including household appliances, smartphones, and audio equipment.
This supplier in Moradabad creates lamps and other home electronics for popular American brands including Wildwood Lamps, Williams Sonoma, and Serena & Lily.
For more information on global trade and the U.S.’s trade relationships with India and other countries, see Jungle Scout’s full 2021 Global Imports Report.