China’s foreign trade sustains sound growth

BEIJING — China’s foreign trade maintained upward momentum in the first seven months of the year. Both exports and imports registered double-digit growth, customs data showed on Aug 7.

The country’s total imports and exports expanded 24.5 percent year-on-year to 21.34 trillion yuan (about $3.3 trillion) from January to July, data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed.

The volume marked a 22.3 percent increase when compared with the pre-pandemic level during the same period in 2019, the GAC said.

Exports rose 24.5 percent from a year ago while imports jumped 24.4 percent in the January-July period.

In July alone, the country’s imports and exports rose 11.5 percent year-on-year to 3.27 trillion yuan, representing a yearly increase in China’s foreign trade for 14 consecutive months, customs data showed. Specifically, exports went up 8.1 percent while imports climbed 16.1 percent.

“The yearly growth of exports in July is slightly below expectations but remains resilient,” said Li Qilin, an analyst from Hongta Securities.

The demand for epidemic prevention materials rebounded due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic overseas. Meanwhile, the recovery of offline consumption in some developed countries helped shore up China’s exports, as foreign importers were restocking inventories for the new semester and year-end holidays, said Li.

The recovery of overseas production also pushed up the demand for Chinese products, including machinery equipment, according to Li.

Looking forward, Li cautioned about uncertainties of China’s exports ahead in the face of certain factors. These factors include possible tapering off of policy stimulus overseas, virus variations, and financial burdens of Chinese exporters caused by increasing freight costs.

The data on Aug 7 also showed China’s trade with three major trading partners all increased in the first seven months.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations remained China’s largest trading partner, followed by the European Union and the United States, the GAC data showed.

The growth rates of China’s trade value with the three trading partners between January and July stood at 24.6 percent, 23.4 percent, and 28.9 percent, respectively.

During the same period, China’s trade with countries along the Belt and Road totaled 6.3 trillion yuan, up 25.5 percent, year-on-year.

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