The Strategist

Chinese exports grow amid pandemic

01/15/2021 - 09:36

China's exports for 2020 rose 3.6% from 2019 to a record $2.59 trillion, despite the pandemic, while Chinese imports fell 1.1%, to $2.06 trillion, Chinese customs data showed. Exports were up just 0.5% in 2019 after climbing 9.9% in 2018. Imports then shrank 2.8 percent versus a 15.8 percent increase in 2019. China's 2020 trade balance increased to $535 billion, the highest since 2015.

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
"Export growth was supported by increased consumption of goods, including electronics and furniture, with reduced consumption of services amid restrictions," Capital Economics points out. 

They note that this increase in supplies won't last long, given the gradual removal of restrictions in China's partner countries as vaccination expands. China's imports by the end of the year showed a sharp increase - taking into account the fall in volume prices, the increase could be about 10%, but here, too, a slowdown is expected as the effect of stimulus measures on the economy is exhausted, the center believes.

Based on the growth of exports and reduction of imports of China, ING points out that this country last year increased its share in world trade (in 2019 it was about 13.4%, it has not yet been determined for 2020), despite the logistical constraints: the supply of medical products grew by 41%, 29% - textiles, 24% - home appliances. The largest export item - automated equipment - grew by 11%. At the same time, imports of meat (plus 59%) and soybeans (12%) rose sharply. Cosmetics shipments grew by 29.4% and imports of microchips by 14.6%.