According to foreign trade data newly released by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China on April 10, China’s foreign trade surplus rebounded sharply and trade volume maintained stable growth in the first quarter of 2013.
According to the statistics by the Customs, China’s total imports and exports amounted to US $974.67 billion, an increase of 13.4% year-on-year after deducting exchange rate factors. Exports reached US $508.87 billion, up 18.4%; and imports totaled US $465.8 billion, up 8.4%; the trade surplus added up to US $43.07 billion, a large increase over the US $210 million trade surplus in the same period of 2012.
In Q1 2013, the main factors of China’s import and export trade are as follows:
1 General trade and processing trade grew steadily
In the first quarter, China’s general import and export trade amounted to US $486.3 billion, rising by 7.4% and accounting for 49.9% of China’s total foreign trade value. The trade deficit of the general trade totaled US $18.98 billion, narrowing by 63.5%. In the same period, imports and exports of China’s processing trade amounted to US $323.02 billion, increasing by 6% and accounting for 33.1% of China’s total imports and exports. The surplus of processing trade came to US $84.26 billion, narrowing by 3.6%.
2 Trade with EU and Japan shrank, while trade with the US and ASEAN expanded
In the first quarter, the China-Europe bilateral trade totaled US $124.41 billion, falling by 1.9% and accounting for 12.8% of China’s total imports and exports. The Sino-American bilateral trade totaled US $118.24 billion, increasing by 10.8% and accounting for 12.1% of China’s total imports and exports. In the first quarter, the bilateral trade between mainland China and Hong Kong totaled US $109.88 billion, rising by 71.2% and accounting for 11.3% of the total imports and exports of mainland China. The bilateral trade with ASEAN totaled US $100.26 billion, rising by 15.5% and accounting for 10.3% of China’s total imports and exports. The Sino-Japan bilateral trade totaled US $70.87 billion, dropping by 10.7% and accounting for 7.3% of China’s total imports and exports.
3 The total foreign trade of seven provinces and cities including Guangdong and Jiangsu accounted for 80% of the total value and the foreign trade export of the central and western regions grew rapidly
In the first quarter, Guangdong’s total import and export value amounted to US $289.16 billion, continuing to rank the first in China. At the same period, the total import and export values of Jiangsu and Shanghai were US $119.52 billion and US $101.19 billion respectively. Including the central units in Beijing, Beijing’s import and export value added up to US $103.24 billion. Additionally, the total import and export values of Zhejiang, Shandong and Fujian were US $73.87 billion, US $59.36 billion and US $39.52 billion respectively. The total import and export values of the above seven provinces and cities accounted for 80.6% ofChina’s total imports and exports.
In terms of export, the export of the central and western regions maintained a rapid growth in the first quarter, and the export growth rates of provinces and cities includingJiangxi,Anhui,SichuanandChongqingwere 92.5%, 98.1%, 59.6% and 36.2% respectively.
4 The proportion of foreign-invested enterprises continued to fall while the import and export of private enterprises grew
In the first quarter, the import and export value of foreign-invested enterprises amounted to US $438.03 billion and accounted for 44.9% of China’s total foreign trade value, with the proportion dropping 5.7 percentage points as against that of the same period last year. At the same period, the import and export value of private enterprises amounted to US $312.11 billion and increased by 53.1%, 39.7 percentage points higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, accounting for 32% of China’s total foreign trade value. In addition, the import and export of state-owned enterprises totaled US $175.25 billion, accounting for 18% of China’s total foreign trade value.
5 The export of mechanical and electrical products and traditional labor-intensive products increased
In the first quarter, the export of China’s mechanical and electrical products reached US $298.54 billion, rising by 18.1% and accounting for 58.7% of China’s total foreign trade export value. At the same period, the export of seven categories of labor-intensive products including clothing, textile, footwear, furniture, plastic products, luggage products and toys totaled US $97 billion, increasing by 21.8% and accounting for 19.1% of China’s total foreign trade export value.
6 Import volume of some energy and resource products decreased
In the first quarter, China imported 190 million tons of iron ores, basically the same level as that of the same period last year; the import of coal reached 80 million tons, up by 30.1%; the import of crude oil came to 68.97 million tons, reducing by 2.3%; the import of soybean totaled 11.49 million tons, down 13.4%; the import of petroleum products amounted to 10.43 million tons, reducing by 3.4%.