May. 2 – China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) recently released the “Foreign Trade Situation Report of China (Spring 2013) (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Report’)”. The Report reviews China’s foreign trade situation from 2012 up until the first quarter of 2013, and also analyzes the global environment and development of foreign trade.
According to the Report, in 2012, China’s total foreign trade amounted to US$3.87 trillion, growing 6.2 percent year-on-year. Of which, total exports amounted to US$2.05 trillion while imports totaled US$1.82 trillion. China also ranked second in the world in total foreign trade volume, first in total export volume and second in total import volume.
The Report further stated that China’s exports grew in 2012 as high-tech exported goods increased by 9.6 percent and accounted for 29.3 percent of total exports. The export volume of mechanical and electrical products amounted to US$1.18 trillion, while the export of labor-intensive products, including clothing, textiles, shoes, furniture, plastic products, bags and cases and toys totaled US$418.89 billion.
The Chinese government also pushed imports more as China’s trade surplus reached US$230.58 billion in 2012, which accounted for 2.8 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP). Main imported goods include iron ore, coal, crude oil, grain, edible vegetable oil and soybeans. High-tech products constituted 9.5 percent of total imports, and products included automatic processing equipment, integrated circuits and automobiles.
General trade volume in 2012 increased by 4.4 percent year-on-year while processing trade grew 3.3 percent. Foreign trade conducted by foreign invested enterprises in China increased by 1.8 percent.
In terms of trading partners, trade between China and other emerging markets and developing countries has grown rapidly, with foreign trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Russia, and South Africa rising by 10.2 percent, 11.2 percent, and 31.8 percent, respectively. Trade between China and the U.S. grew 8.5 percent as China saw an 8.4 percent increase in exports, which effectively made the U.S. China’s biggest export market.
Foreign trade in Midwestern China grew at 20.8 percent, a rate much faster than its counterpart in Eastern China, which only grew by about 4.3 percent. However, Eastern China’s exports increased by 15.1 percent during the first quarter of 2013. Midwestern China’s exports grew 42.8 percent during that same time.
The Report also indicated that adjustments will be made to China’s foreign trade patterns and structures by way of encouraging technology innovation, improving product quality, building a bigger international marketing network, exploring emerging markets and promoting the transformation and upgrading of processing trade. Meanwhile, import policies will be upgraded to keep the trade balance by increasing the import of energy resources, advanced technological equipment, key assemblies and consumable goods.