Indian financial markets are rattled by the growing fears of retaliation to tariffs imposed by the U.S.
The fears seem justified as India is the ninth trading partner sharing a trade surplus with the U.S.— meaning it exports more to the U.S. than what it imports.
India exported nearly $49 billion worth of goods last year compared to net imports of $26 billion in the same period, according to the United States Trade Statistics.
Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump waged a global trade war after threating to impose to impose a tariff of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium imports. The formal tariff orders are expected to be signed this week.
His threats were retaliated by the trading partners of the United States who plan to impose counter-tariffs on U.S. exports.
The news spelled trouble for India at a time when foreign institutional investors have been on a selling spree because of a rise in the U.S. bond yields. Overseas investors sold Indian shares worth $1.9 billion in February, the highest in 15 months.
Analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities, however, said that the extent of potential steel mill, aluminum smelter restarts in the US will not be meaningful enough to significantly weaken the outlook on global aluminum and steel, especially given supply-side reforms in China in these industries.
Lets take a look at various sectors that are likely to be impacted by the U.S. president's move to impose tariffs:
Diamonds: These precious stones top the list of Indian goods exports to the U.S., amounting to over $8 billion last year.
Steel: India's share of U.S. steel imports is only 2.4 percent. Canada, Brazil and Korea top the list. While the direct tariff impact on India will be minimal, global prices will likely remain under pressure once the tariffs come into play. Various countries are threatening counter tariffs, which is yet another risk.
Aluminium: India's share of U.S. steel imports is only 2 percent. In financial year 2016-17, India exported Rs 2,346 crore of aluminium and aluminium products to the U.S, according to Indian government data. While India does have protection in the form of anti-dumping duties but that is not as good a shield as the beneficial impact of rising steel prices worldwide.
Other setors: Pharmaceuticals, apparel, fish and shellfish petroleum products and organic chemicals are among the top 10 U.S. imports from India.