China’s imports and exports fell by 9.6% in the first two months

China's imports and exports fell by 9.6% in the first two months

Recently, the General Administration of Customs announced the foreign trade data for the first two months of this year. Statistics show that during the period, China’s total import and export value of goods trade was 4.12 trillion RMB, a year-on-year decrease of 9.6%. It is worth mentioning that while the total value of foreign trade declined, China’s imports and exports to ASEAN grew against the trend. In the first two months, China’s trade with ASEAN totaled 594.11 billion RMB, an increase of 2%. ASEAN surpassed the EU and became China’s largest trading partner, accounting for 14.4% of China’s total foreign trade.

Zhang Jianping, director of the Regional Economic Cooperation Research Center of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, said in an interview with the “Daily Economic News” reporter that the growth rate of imports and exports fell in the first two months. On the one hand, it was affected by the extension of the Spring Festival holiday. This is a routine phenomenon. On the other hand, the impact of the epidemic situation is superimposed on the holiday factors, and the logistics and transportation have lagged, which is equivalent to extending the cycle of the impact.

Intermediate trade is more affected

According to customs statistics, in terms of Renminbi, the total value of imports and exports of Chinese goods trade was 4.12 trillion RMB in the first two months of this year, a decrease of 9.6% over the same period last year (the same below). Among them, exports were 2.04 trillion RMB, down 15.9%; imports were 2.08 trillion RMB, down 2.4%; the trade deficit was 42.59 billion RMB, compared with a surplus of 293.48 billion RMB in the same period last year.

Zhang Jianping told the reporter of “Daily Economic News” that the current impact of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic on China’s exports is significantly greater than imports. First of all, the epidemic caused a slow return to work after the Spring Festival. The previous orders were too late for production, and the orders that were snatched may face the problem of lagging logistics and transportation. On the other hand, the decline in exports is also affected by external international factors. In order to prevent and control the epidemic, some countries have strengthened quarantine, and even do not allow cargo ships to call the port, which has caused a significant impact on China’s exports.

Shen Jianguang, chief economist of Jingdong Digital Technology, pointed out that Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and the United States are important trading partners of China. Once the epidemic continues, the possibility of further decline in overseas demand will not be ruled out, which will result in a greater impact on China ’s exports, especially intermediate goods big impact. China is a key link in the global value chain. The export of intermediate goods and capital goods occupies an important position. Major regional economies such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand are more dependent on Chinese intermediate goods exports.

Zhang Jianping also believes that the epidemic situation may have a greater impact on China’s intermediate goods trade, because China is a major exporter of raw materials, and many countries produce raw materials or intermediate goods from China. For example, some Indian companies have stated that the supply of some medicines can only be maintained for another month because they cannot get medicine raw materials from China.

“Whether China’s exports can rebound in the second quarter depends more on the development trend of the global epidemic.” Zhang Jianping said that European and American countries are the main targets of Chinese exports. If the epidemic in Europe and the United States is not controlled, it will inevitably affect China’s foreign trade.

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