China's Q1 foreign trade rises 10.7% in yuan terms, maintaining growth momentum for 7 quarters
Published: Apr 13, 2022 10:05 AM
foreign trade Photo:VCG

foreign trade Photo:VCG

China's foreign trade totaled 9.42 trillion yuan ($1.48 trillion) in the first quarter of 2022, up 10.7 percent year-on-year, maintaining growth momentum for seven quarters amid mounting challenges ranging from external risks and domestic Omicron outbreaks.

Separately, exports reached 5.23 trillion yuan, up 13.4 percent, while imports rose by 7.5 percent, reaching 4.19 trillion yuan, Chinese customs data showed on Wednesday.

China's foreign trade achieved a stable start in the first quarter of the year, laying a good foundation for achieving the annual goal, said Li Kuiwen, an official with the General Administration of Customs, but noting that some unexpected factors emerged both at home and abroad which have "exceeded expectations," and the external environment for China's foreign trade is becoming more severe and complex.

"While facing these difficulties and challenges, we must also see that the Chinese economy is resilient, the fundamentals of long-term improvement will not change, and our foreign trade is expected to maintain stable development," Li said.

Trade with major trading partners all achieved growth meanwhile, trade with ASEAN, the European Union, the US, amounted to 1.35 trillion, 1.31 trillion, and 1.18 trillion , up 8.4 by percent, 10.2 percent, 9.9 percent respectively.  

The ASEAN bloc overtook the EU as China's largest goods trade partner after losing the spot to the EU for the first two months.

More worth noting is that trade with countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative gained 16.7 percent, well above the average growth rate. 

Trade with both Russia and Ukraine also achieved positive growth in the first quarter, according to Li, as China's trade with Russia amounted to 243 billion yuan, while trade with Ukraine stood at 29.59 billion yuan in the first quarter.

Although the quarterly data posed a growth momentum, looking from the month-to-month perspective, March trade data indeed slowed down, indicating mounting challenges for the world's second-largest economy.

In the first two months of the year, exports were up 13.6 percent, while imports jumped 12.9 percent in yuan terms. Total trade grew 13.3 percent to 6.2 trillion yuan, all beating expectations.

Li explained the fall of imports in March was due to some unexpected factors in the international and domestic environment, combined with factors such as last year's high base.

Li said the authority has been "keeping a close eye" on the impact of domestic epidemic situation on foreign trade, saying the local epidemic situation has caused great pressure on the production and operation of some enterprises and the stability of the supply chain.

Agencies across the Chinese central government are doubling down on efforts to unclog transport and logistics, as the country remains unwavering in its arduous yet trailblazing two-pronged pursuit of dynamic zero-COVID while pushing for supply chain resilience as part of a functioning economy.

The 10.7 percent growth is within expectation and demonstrated the world's confidence in China's stable manufacturing ability amid the uncertainties caused by the pandemic and Ukraine tension, Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Analysts noted that China's stable and complete manufacturing system will continue to provide reliable material support for the world, and remained as a solid manufacturing base.

It is estimated that GDP growth in the first quarter will stand at 5.0 percent, and there should be no problem for China's economy to grow by 5 percent to 6 percent in 2022, Cong said.