China’s foreign trade, total value of imports and exports, increased by 22 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months this year to reach 35.39 trillion yuan ($5.55 trillion). This already exceeded the total trade volume seen last year (32.16 trillion yuan), thanks to better than expected performance in November, data from China Customs revealed on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.
Chinese experts said the jump showed that China’s economy has recovered to the level before the pandemic, and it is expected that the high growth of China’s foreign trade will be maintained through the second half of 2022.
Within the total volume of foreign trade, exports were worth $3.02 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 31.1 percent, while imports reached 2.44 trillion, a 31.4 percent increase year-on-year. This means China recorded a trade surplus of $0.58 trillion between January and November 2021.
Major trading partners
China’s imports and exports to its major trading partners such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN), the EU and the US witnessed a significant increase in the first 11 months of 2021.
ASEAN maintained its position as China’s largest trading partner, with a trade value hitting $789.53 billion, an increase of 29.8 percent.
This amount was followed by China’s trade with the EU which jumped by 29.2 percent to $747.63 million in the first 11 months.
Meanwhile, trade with the US, China’s third largest trading partner, increased by 30.2 percent to $682.32 billion. The level of trade in November was much better than expected, according to Customs.
Rise in imports in November
Data showed that China imported more in November, with more imports of soybeans, crude oil and iron ore. Specifically, China imported 8.57 million tons of soybeans, 41.79 million tons of crude oil and 104.96 million tons of iron ore, up 67.7 percent, 10.57 percent and 14.57 percent from October.
The jump in imports in November was largely due to the China International Import Expo that was held at the beginning of the month and the steady basis level of the Chinese economy on the whole, Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told reporters on Tuesday, 07 December 2021.
“A substantial increase in foreign trade in December is still possible, but it will be difficult to exceed November’s levels. The pandemic in some Southeast Asian countries has seen resurgences, and it will be an opportunity for Chinese companies to fill the gap in international supply and demand in a timely manner”.Bai
After China resolved domestic power crunch in October, its production and exports both generated better-than-expected performances, Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told reporters.
Even if fourth quarter economic data may slow down compared with the third quarter, China’s foreign trade and domestic demand are likely to pose good results once released, Tian noted, predicting China’s fourth quarter GDP growth rate to be above 4.5 percent.
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