The India-China trade deficit increased by 34% to reach $12 billion in the first five months of the year, presenting a bleak picture for Indian exports as bilateral trade continued to decline, denting hopes of achieving a trade volume of $100 billion by 2015.
According to the data released by Chinese Customs, the India-China bilateral trade touched $26.5 billion till May 2013.
The trade deficit for India has widened year-on-year to $12 billion, up by 34%. The trade volume was lowered by over $2 billion compared to last year.
Bilateral trade fell to about $66.7 billion last year from around $74 billion in 2012. The trade deficit touched about $30 billion last year, causing concerns in India.
While the Chinese exports registered marginal increase the bilateral trade numbers are falling.
Exports have declined substantially while imports have risen marginally, officials here told PTI.
Much to the disquiet of India, its main items of exports like cotton, iron ore and copper have continued their downward slide.
Iron ore declined sharply by 76% to $595.42 million. Cotton and copper declined year-on-year by 40% to $1.39 billion and 24% to $688.53 million respectively.
India's overall share in Chinese exports has dropped to under 1% from 1.33%, the data showed.
Cotton yarn and diamonds are the other two exports that rounded off the top five. Cotton yarn is the sole bright spot showing a jump of 115% to reach a value of $740 million.
Diamonds have increased at a modest 14% to record $562.1 million.
The Chinese exports to India maintained an even keel, rising by 2.7% year-on-year.
The declining trade as well the promise held out by the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in the last month's visit to New Delhi to provide more market access to Indian goods were the focus of discussions between the two countries in the past few weeks.