Exports expected to see 4th-quarter resurgence

2023-12-08 10:06:36China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Export-bound vehicles await loading in Yantai Port, Shandong province, on Thursday. (TANG KE/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Jan-Nov two-way trade consistent with previous year on effective policy

China is likely to achieve its annual goals for ensuring the stability and enhancing the quality of foreign trade, with positive factors continuing to take effect in the fourth quarter, government officials and analysts said on Thursday.

Despite facing challenges like shrinking external demand, geopolitical impacts and difficult transformations by domestic manufacturers, they said that the diversification and decentralization of China's export markets have contributed to the stability of foreign trade. Moreover, the robust growth of technology-intensive green products, coupled with a rapid recovery in electronic product exports, has become apparent.

China's foreign trade amounted to 37.96 trillion yuan ($5.3 trillion) from January to November, remaining consistent with the corresponding period from the previous year, said the General Administration of Customs.

In November alone, China's two-way trade value reached 3.7 trillion yuan, up 1.2 percent year-on-year.

With the Chinese economy on a positive trajectory with reinforced domestic growth drivers, the growth momentum of China's exports is expected to solidify further, accompanied by an enhancement in quality, said Lyu Daliang, director of the GAC's statistics and analysis department.

As traditional exports like clothing and furniture are giving way to high-tech innovations in the new energy and high-end manufacturing fields, China exported 12.66 trillion yuan worth of mechanical and electrical products in the first 11 months, an increase of 2.8 percent year-on-year, accounting for 58.6 percent of the country's total export value, according to Customs statistics.

Wang Xiaohong, deputy head of the information department at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing, said the growth rate of exports is expected to continue expanding in the coming months.

Despite the drag from slowing demand in major economies such as Europe and the United States, Wang said that China's foreign trade structure will continue to be optimized and upgraded in the fourth quarter. The sustained enhancement of new trade drivers, such as electric vehicles, solar panels, high-end seagoing vessels and offshore engineering products, contributed to the resilience of the country's exports.

For example, global demand surged for offshore wind installation vessels, with Chinese shipyards winning nearly 90 percent of related manufacturing orders. As of October, global orders for offshore wind installation vessels stood at 37 units, with Chinese shipyards manufacturing 33 of them, said the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry.

Chinese shipyards delivered 20 offshore wind installation vessels to both domestic and foreign customers in the first three quarters, setting a record.

With overseas markets entering the traditional peak retail season in December and January, coupled with the low base effect, China's export growth rate is expected to maintain its expansion, said Zhou Maohua, a macroeconomic researcher at China Everbright Bank.

Judging from the structure of imported goods in November, while imports of integrated circuits and steel continued to decline, the volume of imported commodities such as energy and iron ore maintained rapid growth, reflecting an overall recovery in demand across the world, said Zhou.

"The delayed impact of aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks in Europe and the US could potentially dampen the outlook for global demand," he said, adding that the resurgence of trade protectionism and the impact of volatility in global financial markets further contribute to the challenges facing China's foreign trade.

Given the obstacles to growth, the World Trade Organization has revised its projection for global trade volume growth in 2023, lowering it from 1.7 percent to 0.8 percent. Additionally, global trade value is expected to decrease due to the current decline in commodity prices, according to information released by the Ministry of Commerce.

The Geneva-based WTO highlighted the impact on certain export-oriented economies, citing an 11.5 percent year-on-year drop in South Korea's exports in the third quarter and an 8.5 percent decrease in Vietnam.

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