Shanghai leads China’s foreign trade with expansion of 14.6% in first quarter
Published: Apr 20, 2022 09:32 PM

Aerial photo taken on Nov 3, 2021 shows a container dock of Yangshan Port in east China's Shanghai.Photo:Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on Nov 3, 2021 shows a container dock of Yangshan Port in east China's Shanghai.Photo:Xinhua

Shanghai's total foreign trade expanded by 14.6 percent year-on-year to 1.01 trillion yuan ($158 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, maintaining impressive growth momentum as the locomotive to boost the nation's foreign trade.

However, the Omicron spike hitting the city since March may put Shanghai's imports and exports in the second quarter under pressure, experts said.

Of Shanghai's total trade, exports rose 23.8 percent year-on-year to 413.5 billion yuan, while imports expanded by 8.9 percent to 594.4 billion yuan, customs data showed on Tuesday.

The exports of automobiles, mobile phones and lithium-ion batteries doubled from the same period last year. Automobile exports expanded 194.4 percent to 24.26 billion yuan and those of mobile phones and lithium-ion batteries doubled to 19.55 billion yuan and 3.38 billion yuan, respectively.

A key hub for the country's integrated circuit industry, Shanghai's import of integrated circuits hit 78.04 billion yuan, up 18.3 percent while exports shot up 18.6 percent to 43.15 billion yuan.

The figures underscored Shanghai's leading role in China's foreign trade, which expanded 10.7 percent to 9.42 trillion yuan during the first quarter, Chen Jia, a research fellow with the International Monetary Institute of the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

However, the Omicron outbreak that hit the city in March is expected to have a great impact on Shanghai's foreign trade in April and the second quarter, with heavy blows to manufacturing industries like automobiles, Chen said.

Congestion at ports is also expected to add to the economic toll, he said.

Official data show that since the end of March, throughput of goods for import or export dropped to 35 percent at sea ports and 49.1 percent at airports in Shanghai, compared with the previous levels, as epidemic control measures limited the distribution capacity of ports.

On Saturday, Shanghai announced the first batch of 666 "whitelist" companies to resume work, which covered more than 200 auto parts companies and 80 semiconductor companies. 

Global Times