China’s Trade Gets Back to Growth in April, Expanding 4.4%
Zhang Yushuo
DATE:  May 10 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China’s Trade Gets Back to Growth in April, Expanding 4.4% China’s Trade Gets Back to Growth in April, Expanding 4.4%

(Yicai) May 10 -- China’s international trade returned to growth last month, climbing 4.4 percent from a year earlier to USD512.56 billion, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations remaining the country's largest trading partner. 

Exports topped expectations to rise 1.5 percent from a year ago to USD292.5 billion, while imports jumped 8.5 percent to USD220.1 billion, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs yesterday. They had fallen 7.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, in March.

Trade grew more quickly in the first four months of the year compared with the first quarter, reaching a new record high for the same period in history, said Lyu Daliang, director of the GAC's statistics and analysis department.

Trade with ASEAN rose 8.1 percent to USD82.3 billion. Chinese exports to the bloc gained 6.3 percent to USD185.6 billion, while imports climbed 2.6 percent.

Last year's low base, the recovery of external demand, and stabilizing foreign trade policies' continued effectiveness have improved export momentum, said Feng Lin, director of Golden Credit Rating International's research and development department.

Affected by a global upswing in the electronics industry cycle, rising international commodity prices, and expectations of interest rate cuts by central banks in the US and Europe, global trade is recovering, driving China's export growth, Feng added.

The improvement in exports also drives demand that supports imports, which, together with a boost from rising prices of commodities such as crude oil, have also shown some growth, Feng said.

China's exports to developed economies fell more slowly last month, declining 2.8 percent to the United States, 3.6 percent to the European Union, and almost 11 percent to Japan.

Most of China's exports in April were machinery and electrical products, especially cars. Auto shipments surged 32 percent by volume and 29 percent by value, mainly thanks to a significant jump in new energy vehicle exports.

Global demand will expand moderately, noted Zhou Maohua, a macroeconomic researcher at China Everbright Bank. China's exports are diversified, with strong overseas demand for electric vehicles, new energy batteries, and manufacturing equipment, Zhou said, noting that export growth will likely stay positive in the coming months because of lower base figures a year ago.

Regarding imports, the manufacturing sector’s inventories and operational conditions have improved, and with economic policy support, the year-on-year growth of imports is expected to accelerate somewhat in the coming months, Zhou said.

Editor: Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   import,export,foreign trade,surplus