China’s exports rose 30.6 percent year-on-year in March due to increased global demand at a time when the Asian country is the only major economy operating without restrictions.
According to China’s General Administration of Customs, exports rose to $241.1 billion (almost 203 billion euros). Imports rose 38.1% year-on-year to $227.3 billion (about 191 billion euros).
“It is a positive sign that overall economic and trade activity is recovering and market confidence is increasing,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen pointed out at a press conference.
Li warned that the “global economic situation is still complicated and severe”.
China’s exporters have benefited from the early reopening of its economy, while other governments continue to adopt Covid-19 restraining measures that limit business and trade.
In the first three months of 2021, exports soared 49% year-on-year to $710 billion (€597 billion). Imports grew 28% to $593.6 billion (€499 billion).
Year-on-year comparisons of Chinese trade in the first quarter of the year produce particularly resounding figures, as in early 2020 China shut down factories and isolated entire cities due to the new coronavirus, resulting in a sharp fall in foreign trade.
Exports to the 27 countries of the European Union amounted to $36.6 billion (€30.7 billion), while Chinese imports of European products stood at $27.5 billion (€23.1 billion).
Exports to the United States rose 53.6% in March to $38.7 billion (€32.5 billion), despite continued punitive customs duties on several goods produced in China following the trade war launched by former US President Donald Trump.
Imports of US goods by China, which were also punished with an increase in customs duties in retaliation, rose 74.7% to $17.3 billion (€14.5 billion).
Biden, who took office last January, has not yet given any indication that he may withdraw the punitive tariffs that sparked the biggest ever global trade conflict.
There is also no date for a meeting between the two countries’ top trade officials.
China’s trade surplus fell 30.6% in March from a year earlier to $13.8 billion (11.6 billion euros).
The surplus with the United States grew 39% to $21.4 billion (18 billion euros).
The Communist Party China has set an economic growth target for this year of above 6%, which should boost demand for oil, iron ore, food, consumer goods and other imports.
China is the biggest customer for Angola’s oil. In 2020, the Asian country was the destination of over 27% of products exported by Brazil, according to official data.