China’s exports take a dive!

China’s exports plunge

According to latest figures the country’s trade fell more sharply than expected in July 2023, as both global and domestic demand receded amid the pandemic and ongoing tensions with the United States.

China’s exports fell by 14.5% in July 2023 from a year ago, the biggest drop since February 2020, while imports dropped by 12.4%, according to Chinese data. This was much worse than the 5% decline in both exports and imports analysts were expecting.

Poor trade performance

Some of the reasons for the poor trade performance are the rising costs of raw materials, the global shortage of semiconductors, the Covid-19 outbreaks in some regions, and the U.S. sanctions on some Chinese companies. 

China’s trade with the U.S., its largest trading partner, fell in the first seven months of the year. The trade slump has added pressure on China to provide more support for the economy, which has lost momentum after a strong recovery in late 2020 and early 2021.

China’s trade drop July 2023 more than expected

China’s trade situation is also closely watched by other countries, as it reflects the health of the global economy and demand for goods. Some analysts have warned that China’s trade slowdown could signal a broader weakening of consumer spending in developed economies, which could lead to recessions later this year.  China’s trade data also has implications for inflation and monetary policy, as lower import prices could ease inflationary pressures and allow central banks to keep interest rates low.

China’s export to the U.S. and EU down

China’s exports to the U.S. plunged by 23.1% year-on-year in July 2023, while those to the European Union fell by 20.6%, CNBC analysis of customs data showed. Exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations fell by 21.4%, according to the data. Chinese imports of crude oil dropped by 20.8% in July from a year ago, while imports of integrated circuits fell by nearly 17%.

China’s imports from Russia fell by around 8% in July 2023 from a year ago, the data showed.

A slowdown in U.S. and other major economies’ growth has dragged down Chinese exports this year. Meanwhile, China’s domestic demand has remained subdued.

Growth areas

Among the few higher-value export categories that saw a significant increase in the first seven months of the year were: cars, refined oil, suitcases and bags. And for imports: paper pulp, coal products and edible vegetable oil were among the categories seeing significant growth in the January to July period from a year ago.

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