Chinese exports driving the recovery
China is performing better during 2020 when compared to 2019 in terms of international trade: according to the latest release of the General Administration of Customs of China, the total trade with international partners in the eleven months from January to November 2020 totaled USD 4,173 billion, an increase of 0.6 % compared to the same period in 2019, with exports surging to record levels.
Despite the pandemic and the ongoing trade war with the US, the Chinese exports reached USD 2,317 billion, up by 2.5% from a year ago, while imports fell by 1.6%. The trade surplus topped USD 460 billion, 23% higher than the same period in 2019.
These results were made possible by the excellent performance in November 2020: during this month, exports increased by 21.1%, compared to November 2019, reaching a record high of USD 268 billion. Deliveries of medical equipment, plastic products, and electronic goods accounted for a large part of the exports. The trade surplus in November 2020 also doubled compared to the previous year, from USD 37 to USD 75 billion.
The top trading partners are the ASEAN countries, accounting altogether for 14.6% of the total trade and marking a +6.7% compared to the previous year, followed by the European Union (13.9% of total trade, +4.7%), the United States (12.6%, +6.9%), Japan (6.9%, +1.4%) and South Korea (6.2%, +0.9%).
Japan, South Korea, and the ASEAN countries are among the signatories, with China, New Zealand, and Australia, of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that would further boost the trade flows in the Asia - Pacific region.