Imports and exports fell on average by (-)11% / With ASEAN countries being the most important trade partners, however, there was a slight increase
This weekend (March 07, 2020) Chinese customs administration released figures for the country’s foreign trade in January and February 2020: overall, there was a significant decrease by (-)11% compared to one year before. The total trading volume was US-$ 591.99 billion. For exports, the decrease was particularly significant: (-)17.2% reaching US-$ 292.45 billion, and for imports by (-)4% reaching US-$ 299.54 billion.
The Custom Administration emphasizes that these figures should only be understood as instantaneous: A survey of 2,552 randomly selected foreign trade companies showed that at the end of February 80.6% of them had resumed their activities. Since the beginning of the year, many had reduced operations or closed completely due to the coronavirus. „It should be said that the impact of the epidemic on imports and exports is temporary and the long-term positive trend in foreign trade development has not changed,” the authorities write on the webpage.
The official figures for China’s most important trading partners deserve special attention. While trade with countries in the West fell sharply, it rose slightly with ASEAN countries and the „One Belt, One Road” initiative.
The figures on the Silk Road are mentioned separately in the information because they also include some countries in Asia, Africa, or states of the former Soviet Union.
(09.03.2020, USA: 09.03.2020)