China’s Foreign Trade Gains Momentum Despite Global Challenges
China’s Foreign Trade Gains Momentum Despite Global Challenges

China’s Foreign Trade Gains Momentum Despite Global Challenges

Despite a challenging global trade environment, China’s imports and exports have shown resilience and are on an upward trajectory, driven by several positive factors.

In the first 10 months of the year, China’s total import and export of goods grew by 0.03 percent year-on-year, reaching 34.32 trillion yuan (approximately 4.78 trillion U.S. dollars). This marked a reversal from a 0.2 percent decline in the first three quarters, according to official data released on Tuesday.

During the January-October period, exports increased by 0.4 percent year-on-year, totaling 19.55 trillion yuan, while imports declined by 0.5 percent to 14.77 trillion yuan, as reported by the General Administration of Customs.

Monthly data also revealed an improving trend. In October, China’s foreign trade rose by 0.9 percent compared to the same month in the previous year, breaking a four-month declining streak.

In October, exports decreased by 3.1 percent year-on-year, while imports grew by 6.4 percent, representing a 7.3 percentage point acceleration compared to September. China’s trade surplus in October contracted by 27.9 percent year-on-year, reaching 405.47 billion yuan.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remained China’s largest trade partner during the first 10 months of 2023. Trade with ASEAN countries increased by 0.9 percent year-on-year to 5.23 trillion yuan, accounting for 15.2 percent of China’s total trade.

China’s trade with the European Union decreased by 1.6 percent year-on-year, while trade with the United States declined by 7.6 percent in the January-October period.

Trade with five Central Asian countries witnessed robust growth, surging by 34.8 percent year-on-year, and trade with Belt and Road participating countries increased by 3.2 percent.

Private enterprises played a significant role in China’s foreign trade, with imports and exports by these enterprises increasing by 6.2 percent to 18.24 trillion yuan, constituting 53.1 percent of the total trade.

Machinery and electronic products, accounting for 58.5 percent of total exports, saw a 2.8 percent increase during the period. Notably, the export value of automobiles surged by 88.5 percent year-on-year in the first ten months.

Despite the sluggish global economic recovery, China’s exports have demonstrated strong resilience. Factors contributing to this resilience include diversification of export destinations and rapid growth in exports of automobiles and electronic products.

China’s import volume of crude oil increased by 14.4 percent during the period, while iron ore imports rose by 6.5 percent.

Analysts have noted that China’s foreign trade has shown an improved structure and remarkable resilience. With the upcoming peak shopping season in foreign countries, China’s exports are expected to strengthen, while there is still room for recovery in domestic demand.

China has reaffirmed its commitment to sharing market opportunities, expanding imports, implementing negative lists for cross-border service trade, and simplifying market access. The Ministry of Commerce expressed confidence in consolidating the positive momentum in the fourth quarter and achieving the annual goal of stabilizing and improving the quality of foreign trade.


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