The region covered by the present district of Auraiya had flourishing trade with the adjoining regions, represented by the present district of Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Agra, Gwalior and Kanpur, since early times. Trade was huge when law and order prevailed and tended to decrease sharply in chaotic conditions. Although there was a lack of means of communications trade was carried on horses, ponies, and boats which sailed on the rivers Yamuna and Chambal. Chambal was mostly used by the trader to cross over to Bhind and Gwalior in the south of the district, while Yamuna was extensively used for trade with Delhi and Agra in the west and Kalpi and Allahabad in the east. As far back as the fifth and sixth centuries B.C. wealth was hoarded in brazen jars or in houses. Usury was frowned upon even when indulged in by members of traditional high castes though the Vaishyas charged more than the prescribed rates of interest. In the mediaeval period particularly in the reign of Akbar and his two successors, trade was flourishing and the money was available with the rich and affluent. Auraiya being situated between Agra and Allahabad was an important centre of trade for agricultural commodities, ghi and handloom cloth.

There was a government treasury at Auraiya and a few sub treasuries at important places like Phaphund and Auraiya. The treasuries served as government banking institution for the collection of government dues, and for incurring expenditure on behalf of the government. The British established their own treasury at Auraiya after 1801, on taking the administration of the district.

In the beginning of the twentieth century there were a number of firms that advanced money. In large transactions, when valuables such as jewellery were deposited with the lender as security, the rate of interest varied from 6 to 12 per cent per annum, according to the proportion that the value of the property deposited bore to the sum advanced to the debtor. For loans advanced on personal security only, the interest charged was higher, the average being 18 per cent per annum.

Trade and Commerce

In the last 35 years of the nineteenth century, the railway was the main artery of communication. East Indian Railway was easily accessible to every portion of the district. The chief exports were cotton, ghi, oil-seeds and imports-piece goods, metals, rice salt and sugar. Even ghi and wheat from adjacent areas of Gwalior were diverted to the railway stations in the district for export. The pattern of trade in the twentieth century was the same export of ghi, cotton, and other agricultural goods and import of cloth general merchandise, cotton-yarn and machinery.

However by the thirties, the growing of cotton declined sharply and by fifties there was no cultivation of cotton in the district. With the development of roads, the pace of trade has increased and besides the railway a large number of trucks operate in the district. The road to Bhind and Madhya Pradesh has been bridged and now there is a continuous flow of goods and passenger traffic on his road. Ghi and food-grains are the main commodities of trade. Ghi is transported to as far as Punjab in the west. Bengal in the east and Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Bombay in south and south-west. Wheat is the main food-grain which is transported to the adjoining districts from the wholesale markets of the district.

The other important commodities of internal and external trade are gram, paddy, pulses and oil-seeds. The production of handloom cloth has also increased since 1972-73. Auraiya, Etawah and Jaswantnagar are the main trade centres of handloom cloth. Fish is available in the rivers and lakes of both the districts in large quantities. Fish is sent to Delhi, Bihar and Bengal.

In 1974, there were 1279 km. of metalled roads in the district, which connect the various trade centres in the district and also link them with the adjoining districts and states. There are 3 railway stations and the Northern Railway runs for a total length of about 70 Km. in the district. The infrastructure of the district thus adds to the increasing trade. Approximately 58,830 persons were employed in trade and commerce in 1990 in Etawah and Auraiya districts jointly. There were 537 licensed traders in the district(Auraiya and Etawah jointly) in 1990-91 and about 260 commission agents also earned their livelihood from trade and commerce.

Small Scale Industries

Auraiya district is one of the backward districts in industrial sector declared by the government of Uttar Pradesh state. Only the two town areas, Diviyapur and Auraiya, are equipped with main industries. The Rice-mills and Dal-mills are working well there in these two areas. Other than these mills some steel furniture and cement products small scale industries are there in Auraiya district located at different places. The raw material for these small scale industries is imported from Agra and Kanpur.

There are least facilities in the district to sale the products off and so the sale is mainly dependent on the districts nearby. Mainly, the rice, pulses and desi ghee is exported at large scale to the other districts and states.

In the Auraiya city itself the wooden furniture work is on large scale and due to its cost and quality factor, the furniture has made a good place in the market of nearby districts.