May 9 2023

China’s foreign trade up 5.8% in first four months of 2023


China's foreign trade grew at a faster pace in the first four months of the year amid uncertain external demand, trade risks and other challenges.

China's total imports and exports expanded 5.8 percent year on year to 13.32 trillion yuan (about 1.92 trillion U.S. dollars) in the period, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said Tuesday. The growth rate accelerated by 1 percentage point from the pace recorded in the first quarter.

Exports grew 10.6 percent year on year while imports rose 0.02 percent in the first four months, it added.

From January to April, the growth rate of China's trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union stood at 13.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, the data showed.

China's trade with Belt and Road countries jumped by 16 percent year on year to 4.61 trillion yuan in the period.

In particular, the country's trade with five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- surged 37.4 percent, partly making up for the weak demand in traditional markets.

Private enterprises saw a fast growth rate as imports and exports increased by 15.8 percent to 7.05 trillion yuan in the first four months, accounting for more than half of the country's total.

In terms of types of goods, exports of mechanical and electrical products expanded by 10.5 percent to account for 57.9 percent of the total exports.

Driven by robust exports of new energy vehicles, automobile exports soared 120.3 percent year on year during the period.

A monthly customs survey showed that the proportion of enterprises with growing export orders had increased for four consecutive months.

In April alone, foreign trade increased 8.9 percent year on year, according to the GAC.