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China's foreign trade growth accelerates amid improving demand

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2024-05-10


An aerial drone photo taken on Feb. 2, 2024 shows an international container terminal of Tianjin Port in north China's Tianjin. [Xinhua/Zhao Zishuo]

BEIJING -- China's total goods imports and exports expanded 5.7 percent year on year in yuan terms in the first four months of this year, stronger than the 5 percent recorded in the first quarter, official data showed Thursday.

The country's exports rose 4.9 percent year on year in the January-April period, while imports climbed 6.8 percent, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

From January to April, the country's foreign trade in goods stood at 13.81 trillion yuan (1.95 trillion U.S. dollars). Exports reached 7.81 trillion yuan, while imports hit 6 trillion yuan.

In April alone, the foreign trade soared 8 percent to 3.64 trillion yuan, after contracting in the previous month, signalling improvements in demand at home and overseas.

The growth rate of imports and exports in the first four months has accelerated compared to the first quarter, and the scale has reached a new high in the same period in history, said Lyu Daliang, director of the GAC's Department of Statistics and Analysis.

In April, China's trade with emerging markets continued to improve, while its trade with traditional markets such as Europe and America shifted from decline to increase, he said.

Rapid expansion in exports of ships, electric vehicles, construction machinery and sports equipment has facilitated the export growth in the first four months, he added.

In terms of trade types, processing trade shifted from negative to positive in the first four months, edging up 0.8 percent year on year. General trade reached 8.98 trillion yuan in the first four months, up 5.3 percent year on year, accounting for 65.1 percent of the total. Bonded warehouse trade went up 14.9 percent year on year to 1.92 trillion yuan.

In terms of trade entities, foreign trade made by Chinese private enterprises went up 10.7 percent year on year in the first four months. The value accounted for 54.6 percent of China's total foreign trade, up 2.5 percentage points year on year. 

In the first four months, China's trade with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative surged 6.4 percent to 6.54 trillion yuan in the first four months, accounting for 47.4 percent of China's total trade value.

Among them, the trade value with China's largest trading partner ASEAN was 2.18 trillion yuan, up 8.5 percent year on year, accounting for 15.8 percent of China's total trade.

Though trade with the European Union went down 1.8 percent, trade with the United States and the Republic of Korea climbed 1.1 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, in the first four months.

Trade with Latin America climbed 11.7 percent year on year in the first four months, trade with Africa went up 7.7 percent, and trade with the five Central Asian countries soared 17.9 percent.

Structurally, China's export portfolio has demonstrated strength in sectors of ships, electric vehicles and construction machinery, with growth rates of 108.4 percent, 28.3 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively.

More positive factors in China's foreign trade have emerged since the beginning of the year, consolidating the positive growth momentum of the foreign trade, Lyu said.

China has targeted its economic growth at around 5 percent this year, a goal that officials and experts believe is well within reach considering the country's sound economic fundamentals and supportive macroeconomic policy mix.