China Trade +13% in Q1 2022
In the first quarter of this year, the total amount of Chinese international trade rose 13% compared to Q1 2021. According to the trade figures disclosed by the General Administration of Customs of China, the total flow of goods between China and its trading partners reached USD 1,479 billion, a 13% increase compared to USD 1,309 billion last year.
Exports grew by 15.8% over a year earlier to USD 821 billion, while the growth of imports slowed to 9.6%, for a total amount of USD 658 billion.
The ASEAN trading bloc surpassed the European Union as the first trading partner of China, with USD 212 billion of total trade, derived from the important rise of Chinese imports from South-East Asia. ASEAN members are also part of the RCEP, the largest free trade zone by aggregated GDP of its members. RCEP partners account for 30.4% of total Chinese trade (USD 450 billion), receiving 26.4% of Chinese exports (USD 217 billion) and sourcing 35.4% of Chinese imports (USD 233 billion).
The European Union is the second partner of China, with over USD 206 billion in trade flows. In the first quarter of the year, total trade with the EU rose by 12.2%; however, despite the 23.3% increase in Chinese exports, it shall be highlighted that Chinese imports from the EU declined by 4.5% over the previous year.
The United States are the third trading partner and the leading destination of Chinese exports: in the first quarter of the year, China exported to the USA over USD 139 billion (16.9% of total Chinese exports, +16.7%), while imports from the US in the same period were USD 47 billion, +0.8% over a year earlier.
It is also interesting to note that trade between China and Russia jumped by 28.7% in USD terms over the previous year, with USD 38 billion of goods traded, boosted by Chinese imports from Russia (+31% over the Q1 2021).