• 13/06/2024 10:11

China's foreign trade resumes thanks to exports to Russia

China's foreign trade grew faster than expected in the first two months of 2024, driven in part by electronics and increased exports to emerging markets, including Russia. This is reported by the Financial Times.

Foreign trade China is resuming thanks to exports to Russia

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China's exports rose 7.1% in January and February compared with a year earlier, exceeding the expectations of Reuters analysts, who had forecast growth of 1.9%.

Imports rose 3.5% compared to expectations – by 1.5%. China reports economic data for January and February together to account for disruptions associated with the annual Lunar New Year celebrations.

“The main driver of the export recovery was growth in the global technology product cycle, mainly electronics,” said Tao Wang, chief China economist at UBS.

China’s trade improvement compares with a 5 percent full-year decline in 2023 This year is good news for politicians as China's politicians gather in Beijing this week for the annual parliament meeting.

China's economy is struggling to recover from a real estate crisis, weak consumer and investor confidence and a drop in export earnings last year, but the government has set an ambitious target of growing gross domestic product by 5% by 2024.

In the first two months This year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc was China's largest trading partner, with trade up 4.8%, followed by the EU, with which trade fell 4.1%. Trade with the United States increased slightly, rising by 0.7%.

Trade with Russia

Among China's individual trading partners, the importance of Russia has rapidly grown, bilateral trade with which in the first two months of this year grew by 9.3% to a total of $37 billion, and China's exports to its neighbor grew by 12.5%.

Last year, Russia became China's fifth-largest trading partner, up from ninth place in 2020, when trade reached $240 billion, exceeding the target of $200 billion. Russia approximately maintained this position in the first two months of 2024, losing second place only to to Australia's share.

On Thursday, Beijing Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that the two countries are promoting trade as part of a strategic relationship. These comments are likely to deepen concerns in the EU, which believes that China is tacitly supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“China and Russia have created a new paradigm for relations between great states. Political mutual trust between the two sides continues to deepen. Russian natural gas is ending up in houses in China, and Chinese cars are driving on Russian streets,” Wang Yi said at a press conference during a meeting of the National Assembly.

European leaders have repeatedly warned Beijing that its support for Russia is being undermined popularity of China in the EU. But Wang Yi said that China's partnership with its neighbor is in its own interests and is not aimed at any “third parties”.

Trade with India and Brazil

China's trade with India and Brazil also grew in the first two months of the year, rising by 15.8% and 33.3%, respectively.


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