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China's foreign trade grows at double-digit pace in June with resilient outlook

Updated: July 13, 2022 23:39    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's foreign trade saw a double-digit growth pace in June, a positive indicator that the world's second-largest economy is recovering from the headwinds of COVID-19 outbreaks.

China's foreign trade growth accelerated to 14.3 percent in June, compared with 9.5 percent in May and 0.1 percentin April, showed data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on July 13.

From January to June, China's foreign trade of goods jumped 9.4 percent year-on-year to 19.8 trillion yuan (about $2.94 trillion).

Exports rose 13.2 percent year-on-year to 11.14 trillion yuan, while imports increased 4.8 percent from a year ago to 8.66 trillion yuan.

"Overall, China's imports and exports showed strong resilience in the first half of the year," said Li Kuiwen, spokesperson for the GAC.

Swift recovery

"The growth of foreign trade picked up significantly in May and June," Li said.

As the epidemic prevention and control situation improves and pro-growth policies are taking effects, foreign trade enterprises have resumed work and production in an orderly manner since May.

"In particular, the rapid recovery of imports and exports in the Yangtze River Delta led to a marked rebound in the overall growth of China's foreign trade," Li said.

For instance, Shanghai, the country's financial hub hit hard by the Omicron outbreak, saw its foreign trade swing back to growth in June, up 9.6 percent year-on-year.

Closer trade ties

In the first half, China's trade with its top three trading partners — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the United States — expanded by 10.6 percent, 7.5 percent and 11.7 percent from a year ago, respectively.

From January to June, China's trade with Belt and Road countries and members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership soared by 17.8 percent and 5.6 percent year-on-year.

In terms of types of goods, imports and exports of mechanical and electrical products expanded by 4.2 percent to account for 49.1 percent of the total.

Private enterprises posted strong performance as their imports and exports grew 13.6 percent year-on-year in the first half, outpacing the country's overall growth.

China's exports of labor-intensive products increased 13.5 percent to 1.99 trillion yuan, while imports of energy products including crude oil, natural gas and coal surged 53.1 percent, customs data showed.

Policies paying off

The rebound came as the country stepped up efforts to help foreign trade firms overcome difficulties amid domestic COVID-19 resurgences and external uncertainties.

The GAC has adopted a slew of measures to reduce costs for foreign trade companies, while customs authorities across the country have put forward 854 detailed measures to stabilize foreign trade.

These measures mainly aim to smoothen foreign trade logistics, strengthen financial support for foreign trade firms, stabilize industrial and supply chains of foreign trade, and improve the business environment at ports.

"In the next step, the GAC will pay close attention to the implementation of these measures and make every effort to promote the stability and quality of foreign trade," Li said.

Resilient outlook

Despite some unstable and uncertain factors, China's foreign trade is expected to maintain steady growth in the second half of the year, Li said.

Echoing Li's views, Zhou Junzhi, chief macro analyst at Minsheng Securities Co Ltd said that China's exports may continue to show better-than-expected resilience in the second half, with an expected increase of 7.5 percent year-on-year.

Boasting the world's most comprehensive industrial system, China is capable of meeting various outbound demands, be it anti-pandemic materials, durable goods, or industrial products, according to Zhou.

"In the second half, we are particularly upbeat about the exports of industrial supplies such as mechanical equipment and vehicles and auto parts," Zhou said.