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MOFCOM Department of Foreign Trade Comments on China’s Foreign Trade Situation in January-May 2017











According to the statistics of China Customs, in January-May 2017, China's import and export volume reached 10.76 trillion yuan, with an increase of 19.8% year on year (the same below). Among these, the export was 5.88 trillion yuan, with an increase of 14.8% and the import was 4.88 trillion yuan, with an increase of 26.5%; the trade surplus was 993.97 billion yuan, narrowing 21.1%. The import and export realized a rapid development, the structure was further optimized, the structure optimization was accelerated, and the turnaround momentum was further consolidated. The Head of the MOFCOM Department of Foreign Trade pointed out in January-May 2017 China's foreign trade mainly showed the following features:

From the perspective of commodity structure, the export volume of mechanical and electrical products was 3.37 trillion yuan, with an increase of 14.2%, accounting for 57.3%, remaining the same as in the same period last year. Among these, the growth of automobile, ship, mobile and computer and its component was 32.1%, 27.2%, 16.0% and 14.6% respectively. The export of seven traditional labor-intensive industries such as textile and garment maintained a rapid growth, up 12.8% (the export volume was 1.20 trillion yuan).

From the perspective of business subjects, the export amount of private enterprises reached 2.75 trillion yuan, with an increase of 18.1%, accounting for 46.7%, 1.3 percentage points higher than in the same period last year, and remaining as the first business subject of export enterprises.

From the perspective of trading mode, the general imports and exports amount reached 6.11 trillion yuan, with an increase of 21.0%, accounting for 56.8% of the gross national foreign trade, 0.6% percentage points higher than in the same period last year. New formats such as cross-border e-commerce and market procurement trade continue to maintain a rapid development.

From the perspective of national market, our imports from and exports to the top ten trade partners such as EU, the United State and the ASEAN increased 18.9%, and those from and to traditional markets such as the United States, EU and Japan went up 18.3%, 14.6% and 12.8% respectively. The exports to the countries along the line of the "Belt and Road" such as Russia, India, Singapore and Indonesia have increased rapidly, the growth rate reaching 29.5%, 24.7%, 15.8% and 16.9% respectively.

In January-May, the major reasons for China's rapidly increasing import and export are:

Firstly, policy effect appeared progressively. In recent years, the Central Party Committee and the State Council have introduced a series of policy documents promoting foreign trade development. MOFCOM, together with all departments and local governments, focused on the implementation of policy with unprecedented strength. The business environment was constantly improved, burdens were tangibly eased, assistance for enterprises were visibly provided, vitality of the market subject obtained effective motivation and policy effect further appeared.

Secondly, international market recovered slowly. The World Economic Outlook released by the IMF in April improves the predicted value of global economic growth would rise to 3.5% from 3.4% in January. Among this, the growth of developed economies accelerates to 2.0% from 1.7% in 2016, 0.1 percentage points higher than what was last predicted. The growth of developing and emerging economies accelerate to 4.5% from 4.1% in 2016.

Thirdly, enterprises' structure adjustment and power conversion were accelerated. A large batch of enterprises generated power from the supply side, accelerated structure adjustment and transformation and upgrading, strived to cultivate new foreign trade competitive advantages centering on technology, brand, quality, service and standard. The innovative capacity of enterprises was strengthened and the power conversion was accelerated.

Fourthly, the rising import volume and price of bulk commodity drove China's rapid development of import and export. The import prices of 10 bulk commodities such as crude oil, iron ore, natural gas, steel and copper concentrate (accounting for 24.3% of China's import volume at the same period) increased 7.7% to 90.8%. The import volume increased 2.4%-29.6%, driving 11.7 percentage points of import growth.

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