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China’s export growth exceeded forecasts

Author: Greg Gowans
China's export growth exceeded forecasts

Statistics recently released by China’s Customs Agency (GACC) show that China exported $528 billion worth of goods in January and February of this year. This represents a rise of 7.1% year-on-year, which is noticeably more than a number of forecasts, including a Reuters poll that had predicted an increase of 1.9%.

The value of goods China imported in the first two months of 2024 also went up by 3.5% compared to the year before. The country’s trade surplus during this period was $125.16 billion.

CNN reports that demand from emerging markets was a factor in the results; exports to Africa, Latin America, and India rose by 21%, 20.6%, and 12.8% respectively. Moreover, China’s exports to Russia increased by 12.5% compared to the same period in 2023. When it comes to western markets, China’s exports to the US rose by 5% year-on-year. The value of Chinese goods bound for the EU nonetheless fell by 1.3%.

Commenting on the figures, Ding Shuang, chief Greater China economist at Standard Chartered Bank, told the South China Morning Post:

“Whether China can maintain this strong export recovery will hinge on various factors, which include the global slowdown and recent trade frictions targeting China’s new energy vehicles.”

China’s Minister of Commerce, Wang Wentao, said that the growth in exports was fostered by the country’s “new three” –  electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and solar panels. However, according to Ding, China will need more than the aforementioned “new three”. In his view, the figure “could be five, seven or even more.” Ding added: “the essence is to be less of a target for Washington by diversifying its product ranges.”