Exports, imports climb despite global slowdown, Sino-US trade dispute
China’s foreign trade volume over the first 11 months of 2019 expanded 2.4 percent year-on-year to 28.5 trillion yuan ($4.14 trillion), registering steady growth, the General Administration of Customs said on Sunday.
Exports climbed 4.5 percent to 15.55 trillion yuan, and imports totaled 12.95 trillion yuan. The trade surplus widened by 34.9 percent to 2.6 trillion yuan during the period.
For November, exports and imports hit 2.86 trillion yuan, growing 1.8 percent year-on-year, with imports increasing 2.5 percent to 1.29 trillion yuan.
Li Kuiwen, director of the GAC’s statistics and analysis department, said China’s foreign trade remains resilient as the national economy develops stably and continues to grow, despite the slowdown in the global economy and trade growth this year.
Import growth in November reflected China’s improved domestic market demand, he told China Central Television.
The European Union was China’s largest trading partner from January to November, with the bilateral trade volume up 7.7 percent year-on-year to 4.4 trillion yuan. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was second largest, up 12.7 percent to 3.98 trillion yuan.
Trade growth with the Belt and Road economies was higher than the overall growth, as imports and exports with those economies hit 8.35 trillion yuan in the first 11 months, increasing 9.9 percent year-on-year and accounting for 29.3 percent of China’s total foreign trade, up 2 percentage points, the GAC said.
In contrast, China’s trade with the United States declined 11.1 percent year-on-year from January to November to 3.4 trillion yuan. Exports dropped 8.4 percent to 2.64 trillion yuan, and imports declined 19.5 percent to 763.05 billion yuan. The trade surplus with the US fell 3 percent to 1.88 trillion yuan.
The China-US trade decline came while the two countries have not yet addressed their trade disputes, but China’s overall foreign trade is expected to continue its expansion, experts said.
Qin Tai, a macroeconomy researcher at securities services provider Shenwan Hongyuan Group Co, said next year, as China-US consultations are expected to make progress and uncertainties in the external environment may improve, the impact of the trade dispute on China’s exports may be reduced.
“On the whole, both the country’s exports and imports are projected to continue their growth in 2020,” Qin said in a recent research note.
Yang Changyong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said newly emerged business models like cross-border e-commerce, have created new opportunities for trade companies and have injected fresh impetus into foreign trade development.
The GAC data also showed China’s foreign trade structure is improving. General import and export trade rose 4.8 percent year-on-year to 16.87 trillion yuan from January to November, accounting for 59.2 percent of the total foreign trade, which was up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.
Private enterprises also contributed more. Their exports and imports valued 12.12 trillion yuan in the January-November period, up 10.4 percent and accounting for 42.5 percent of the country’s total foreign trade, which was up 3.1 percentage points.