China’s trade volume grew 37 percent year-on-year to $485 billion in April, with exports and imports rising 32.3 percent and 43.1 percent, marking the 11th consecutive month that the country’s foreign trade achieved positive growth. The data also shows that China’s trade is picking up a brisk growth momentum that is increasingly driven by demand at home in addition to booming overseas orders.
In dollar-denominated terms, the total trade volume in April surged 3.5 percent compared with that of March. It also gained 29.6 percent compared with the same period in 2019, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Friday.
Among them, exports jumped 32.3 percent year-on-year to $263.9 billion, beating market expectation. That was the 10th consecutive month of export growth. Imports surged 43.1 percent year-on-year to $221.1 billion, slightly below market expectation. It was also the seventh month in a row for import expansion.
Trade surplus dwindled 4.7 percent to $42.9 billion compared with the same period last year.
In the first four months, China’s total trade volume expanded 38.2 percent year-on-year to $1.79 trillion, with exports and imports surging 44 percent and 31.9 percent, respectively.
“It is noteworthy that imports maintained steam in April, which underscores that domestic demands were shooting up amid construction and investment revival, although the surging price of raw materials and a low base effect also count,” Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times on Friday.
Tian stressed that the rapidly-rising demand at home is not a “typical recovery,” indicating that China’s imports have returned to, or even surpass pre-virus levels.
On the other hand, April’s exports have continued posting a stellar growth since the second half of last year as overseas demands kept flocking in at a relatively high level, buying everything from furniture, electronics, autos, smartphones and consumer goods to medical gear.
Analysts expect that the export machine will remain robust in the second quarter as the coronavirus outbreak resumes in some export-oriented countries, such as India.
Riding on this momentum, China’s share of global exports this year could edge higher to 15 percent, and the share of imports could hit over 12 percent, providing a tower of strength to fuel global trade recovery, Tian predicted.
According to a report issued by WTO, China’s share of global imports and exports reached 11.5 percent and 14.7 percent in 2020. China was the only economy in the world to achieve positive commodity trade growth last year.
In terms of trading partners, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remained the largest in the first four months, followed by EU, the US and Japan.
The trade volume in April has also set off a good start for second-quarter data, building a solid base for the second-quarter GDP to achieve growth between 10 percent and 11 percent, analysts predicted.
But looking ahead, observers took note of uncertainties hanging over the US Federal Reserve’s possible interest rate hikes, which could cut off global demands and drag down China’s exports to some extent.
They also cautioned the importance of preventing imported coronavirus cases as neighboring India’s pandemic outbreak peaked in recent days. A resurgence of coronavirus cases at home could deal a blow to China’s stabilizing supply chain and reviving consumption power, Tian cautioned.