Government of India, India, Stories, Trade

Data: Few States Account for Most of The Commodity Exports of India


Data from the NIRYAT portal indicates that few states account for most of the commodity exports from India. Gujarat & Maharashtra with a large industrial base lead the commodity exports. 

Exports are key to the economic growth of a country as they provide the necessary foreign currency reserves.  Since Independence, India’s balance of trade has largely been negative i.e., the value of imports exceeds the value of exports. crude oil, petroleum products, coal, electronic components, organic chemicals, etc are a few of the major imports of India. Various domestic industries and commercial establishments use these imported goods as inputs and raw materials. Hence, the reduction of imports could have an impact on economic activity in the country unless these are locally available. Therefore, increasing exports is important to reduce the deficit in the trade balance while parallelly working on building domestic industry to reduce imports.

Over the years and especially after the economic reforms in 1992, India has made efforts to increase the value as well as the portfolio of its exports.  Factly’s latest story on export trends in the country can be read here

The diversity of economic activity and traditional industrial activity across the states in India means that the export profile of different states is different.  Understanding the export potential of each state and identifying the products that can be leveraged as exports can contribute to increasing India’s exports. So, which states in India have the greatest exports? What are the goods that these states export? Here is an analysis. 

The State-wise export data is collated from the Government of India’s NIRYAT (National Import Export Record for Yearly Analysis of Trade) portal. Data for the three-year period 2020-21 to 2022-23 is analysed for this story. It must be noted that the data on the NIRYAT portal pertains only to merchandise (goods) and does not include services.

Gujarat, Maharashtra & Tamil Nadu are the highest merchandise exporting states in India 

As per the data provided on the NIRYAT portal, Gujarat stands first in terms of merchandise export value. The total value of exports by Gujarat for the year 2022-23 was 146.49 billion USD. This is nearly 1/3rd of the total exports of India for the year. The value of Gujarat’s exports is also more than double of the second-highest exporting state i.e., Maharashtra.  The total value of exports of Maharashtra is 72.5 billion USD, followed by Tamil Nadu with 40.7 billion USD. These three states account for around 58% of the total merchandise exports of the country in 2022-23. Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Haryana are other states which have higher value of merchandise exports. 

Data indicates that the merchandise exports are concentrated in only a few states. These top-7 states account for more than 3/4th of the total merchandise exports of India for the year 2022-23. This trend is reflected even in the earlier years.  In both 2020-21 and 2021-22, the highest value of merchandise exports is from Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. 

Gujarat is the largest exporter for Petroleum products, Chemicals among others

Engineering Goods, Petroleum Products, Gems & Jewellery, Organic & Inorganic Chemicals, and Drugs & Pharmaceuticals are among the commodities that form most of the exports from India. In 2022-23, these five commodities accounted for 65% of India’s total merchandise exports. Here is a look at the contribution of the states towards these major export commodities. 

Engineering Goods – Maharashtra & Tamil Nadu have the major share

Engineering Goods are the top-most commodity exported by India in terms of value. In 2022-23, engineering goods worth 106.5 billion USD were exported i.e., around 24% of the total exports in the year. Even in the previous two years, engineering goods were the top exporting commodity. Among the states, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the top two exporters of engineering goods across the three years. 

For the three-year period of 2020-21 to 2022-23, Maharashtra has exported 60.2 billion USD worth of engineering Goods. During the same period, the export value of this commodity by Tamil Nadu is 43.6 billion USD. Maharashtra & Tamil Nadu are the leading manufacturing states in the country, and this is evident from the value of exports of engineering goods by these two states.  Gujarat and Karnataka occupy the next two positions when the cumulative total for the three-year period is considered. 

Petroleum Products – Gujarat has 81% share of total exports

Petroleum products have emerged as a major exporting commodity for India. We have highlighted the same in our earlier story on trends in India’s exports. However, this growth is largely due to the increase in exports by Gujarat because of the presence of large refineries in the state. The state has a near monopoly on the export of Petroleum products. Out of the 165 billion USD worth of petroleum products exports by India during the three-year period of 2020-21 to 2022-23, 134 billion USD is by Gujarat. Karnataka is a distant second with 11.8 billion USD worth of petroleum Product exports. 

Gems & Jewellery – Maharashtra & Gujarat contribute 88% of the value of exports

The two states of Maharashtra & Gujarat have the major share in the export of Gems & Jewellery. Before the emergency of petroleum products as a major export commodity by India, Gems & Jewellery is the among the top-2 export commodities by India.  In fact, India is among the top-3 exporters of jewellery in the world. 

However, this high value of exports is largely due to two states – Maharashtra & Gujarat. Mumbai and Surat are two major hubs for gems & jewellery in the country. This is reflected in the respective states having the major share in the export of this commodity.  For the period 2020-21 to 2022-23, the value of exports of this commodity by Maharashtra is 57.9 billion USD, followed by Gujarat with 32.1 billion USD. This is about 88% of the total exports of Gems & Jewellery during this period. 

Organic & Inorganic chemicals – Gujarat has the major share, followed by Maharashtra 

Gujarat has around 47% of the share of the total value of organic & inorganic chemicals exported by the country during 2020-21 to 2022-23. Maharashtra is the next highest exporter followed by Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. 

Drugs & Pharmaceuticals – Gujarat, Maharashtra & Telangana account for 56% of the total exports 

Compared to the other top export commodities, the share of states is more evenly distributed in the case of Drugs & Pharmaceuticals. However, the three states of Gujarat, Maharashtra & Telangana have a large share when compared to others. These are also the states with a large presence in the pharma sector & the big names in the industry. These three states have a near-equal share of the exports of Drugs & Pharmaceuticals. 

Agriculture and textiles are other major commodity groups that have a higher value of exports. In the case of Agriculture, it is Cotton and Rice which are the major export commodities.

The data indicates that few states contribute towards a major share of the exports of India. Geography, Infrastructure, industrial history, human resources, etc are a few of the factors which enable these states to lead the export charts. Identifying products in each of the states which have export potential & creating the supporting infrastructure can go a long way in helping increase the state-wise exports and in turn exports of the country.

Featured Image: Commodity Exports of India


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