he total value of China’s imports and exports in January increased by 19.6 percent year on year, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC), the country’s customs authority. The GAC predicted that pressure on China’s exports early in the second quarter is likely to be eased.
According to statistics provided by the GAC, the total value of imports and exports for January 2017 was 2.18 trillion yuan (US$320 billion). With exports growing by 15.9 percent and imports by 25.2 percent, the trade surplus shrank. Notably, in dollar terms, the value of exports rose 7.9 percent year-on-year, ending nine years of decrease.
The January increase in exports is related to the relatively low total volume of last January, fluctuating exchange rates, as well as the general improvement across international markets, according to Bai Ming, deputy director of the Research Institute for International Markets at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
“Since the second half of 2016 to early 2017, the entire international market has improved. In January, South Korea’s exports were up 11.2 percent, Vietnam’s exports up 7.6 percent, and Chinese Taiwan’s exports 7 percent, in dollar terms,” Bai said. The January increase resulted also in part from the transformation and upgrading of the country’s foreign trade, he added.
In addition, the import volume and price of bulk commodities, such as iron ore, crude oil and coal, led to a relatively large increase in the import value for January.
Meanwhile, as the policies introduced by China to steady its economic growth are producing the desired results, the country is seeing increasing demand from international markets, helping volumes rise again.