China Hits Record Trade in 2021

The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) released on 14th January the preliminary figures about Chinese exports and imports in the year 2021.


China’s total international trade in 2021 hit a record high in 2021, exceeding 6,051 USD billion, an increase of 1,405 USD billion (or 30% in percentage terms) compared to the 12 months in 2020. Exports raised to 3,364 USD billion (+29.9% vs 2020), while imports topped 2,688 USD billion (+30.1% compared to 2020). China also got a record trade surplus of 676 USD billion, surpassing the previous high of 594 USD billion set in 2015.


The trade volume with RCEP members reached 1,868 USD billion (accounting for 31% of Chinese trading volume). China imported more than 995 USD billion from RCEP partners (37% of the total), an increase of 28.3% compared to the previous year. The trading deficit with those partners increased to 121 USD billion.


RCEP entered into force at the beginning of this year and will further boost the development of the participating economies.


The European Union and the United States are the leading destinations for Chinese products, accounting for 1/3 of the Chinese exports. The EU and the US are also the main contributors to China’s trade surplus, with 208 and 397 USD billion.


The trade between Italy and China reached 74 USD billion (+34.1% vs 2020), among which 44 USD billion (+32.6%) of Chinese exports and 30 USD billion (+36.3%) of Chinese imports. The increase rate of imports from Italy is among the highest in the EU (which exports to China recorded a +19.9%), highlighting the strong relationship between the two economies.


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