China's trade grows 8.9% in April, faster than expectations

2023-05-09 16:20:45Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's trade sector grew 8.9 percent in April in yuan's terms, data released by the Chinese customs showed on Tuesday. The data, although demonstrating a certain level of slowdown compared with data from March, still showed a trend of persistent recovery in the trade sector which experts said has beaten their anticipations.

In particular, the exports sector reported a double-digit growth rate of 16.8 percent during the month, which vividly displaysChinese products' popularity among overseas markets.

Imports, however, slipped by 0.8 percent year-on-year, which showed that domestic demands are still in the process of recovery, observers said.

In general, China's trade has grown by 5.8 percent year on yearto about 13 trillion yuan ($1.9 trillion)in the first four months. This is an acceleration from a 4.8 percent growth in the first quarter, according to the customs data.

Seen on a single month basis, China's exports in April slowed from a 23.4 percent growth in March, but are significantly faster compared with the 0.9 percent growth in the first two months.

Hu Qimu, deputy secretary general of the digital real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times on Tuesday that China's trade sector has kept a good trend that has surpassed his expectations. Previously, he anticipated that China's trade growth rate around the first quarter this year should be in line with the general economic growth rate of about four or five percent.

"I think that the trade situation is a reflection of China's supply chain resilience. That is to say, China has pressed the brake pedal of its production sector last year as a result of COVID. Now that the brake is lifted, its production side has rebounded at a fast rate, faster than demand," Hu told the Global Times.

Besides, the fact that many businesspeople have been going out to grab orders may have recently fuelled demands from overseas markets, he said.

"I don't think the exports growth slowdown in April is a reflection of a reverse in China's promising trade trend," he said, adding that the trade sector's general trend is still positive, particularly judging by a few niches which prove that China's trade structure is upgrading.

According to customs data, China's outward processing exports rose by 207 percent year on year in the first four months. Hu said that this shows China is increasing exports of core parts to neighboring Asian countries for labor-intensive processing.

"It shows improved labor division in global supply chains with China increasingly reducing reliance on low-cost processing. Moreover,this is proof that China's competitiveness is rising in the manufacturing sector," Hu said.

Apart from that, the customs data also showed the diversification of China's trade sector when demands from many developed nations are dropping.

China's trade with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies rose by 13.9 percent to 2.09 trillion yuan in the period from January to April, while trade with the US dropped by 4.2 percent, according to the data.


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