September 8, 2023
BEIJING – China’s foreign trade edged down to 27.08 trillion yuan ($3.7 trillion) in the first eight months of the year, a slight decrease of 0.1 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs on Thursday.
Exports expanded 0.8 percent year-on-year to 15.47 trillion yuan, while imports declined 1.3 percent from a year earlier to 11.61 trillion yuan, data from the administration showed.
In August alone, total exports and imports dropped 2.5 percent year-on-year and stood at 3.59 trillion yuan, with exports down 3.2 percent and imports down 1.6 percent, according to the data.
In the January-August period, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remained China’s largest trade partner. China’s trade with ASEAN countries climbed 1.6 percent year-on-year to 4.11 trillion yuan, accounting for 15.2 percent of the country’s total trade value, the administration said.
In the first eight months, China’s trade with the European Union fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier, and the country’s trade with the United States declined 8.7 percent year-on-year, the data showed.
During the same period, China’s trade with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative amounted to 12.62 trillion yuan, which witnessed a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent, according to the data.
Private enterprises saw imports and exports jump 6 percent year-on-year to 14.33 trillion yuan in the January-August period. The trade value represented 52.9 percent of the country’s total, up 3 percentage points from the same period last year, the administration said.
China saw steady export growth of such mechanical and electrical products as data processing devices, cell phones, and automobiles during this period, which rose 3.6 percent to 8.97 trillion yuan and accounted for 58 percent of the country’s total exports. In particular, exports of automobiles totaled 442.7 billion yuan, up 104.4 percent year-on-year.