China’s foreign trade volume jumps 4.8% in Q1 despite global volatilities
Published: Apr 13, 2023 10:07 AM
This aerial photo taken on April 7, 2023 shows a container ship sailing at Tianjin Port in north China's Tianjin. North China's Tianjin Port handled approximately 5.047 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in the first three months of 2023, up 9.09 percent year on year.(Photo: Xinhua)

This aerial photo taken on April 7, 2023 shows a container ship sailing at Tianjin Port in north China's Tianjin.(Photo: Xinhua)

China's imports and exports of goods went off to a steady start this year, growing by 4.8 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2023, showing a month-on-month rebound trend, underscoring the resilience of Chinese economy against growing external uncertainties.

China's foreign trade reached 9.89 trillion yuan ($1.44 trillion) in the first quarter, up 4.8 percent year-on-year, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Thursday.

The country's exports jumped 8.4 percent year-on-year during the period to reach 5.65 trillion yuan, while imports grew by 0.2 percent to hit 4.24 trillion yuan, GAC data showed.

In the first quarter, China's foreign trade still showed strong resilience, with the structure continuing to optimize. The exports of electric vehicles, lithium batteries and solar cells increased 66.9 percent year-on-year, driving up the country's overall exports by 2 percentage points, the data said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remained China's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade jumping 16.1 percent year-on-year to reach 1.56 trillion yuan, accounting for 15.8 percent of the country's total trade.

China's trade with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partners totaled 3.43 trillion in the first three months, up 16.8 percent year-on-year. In addition, China's trade with other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) totaled 3.08 trillion yuan during the same period, up 7.3 percent year-on-year.

"China's imports and exports showed strong resilience in the first quarter, registering a stable performance with good momentum for growth, which sets a stable foundation for the quality growth of the country's foreign trade sector for 2023," Lü Daliang, spokesperson of the GAC, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
Looking ahead, China's foreign trade development may face greater difficulties and challenges, Lü said. 

He said the weak demand caused by global inflation and major economies' sluggish growth this year will have direct impact on China's foreign trade, while protectionism, geopolitics and other risks will add instability, uncertainties and unpredictability to the global economy.

"However, the Chinese economy enjoys strong resilience, tremendous growth potential and great vitality. The fundamentals sustaining its long-term growth have remained strong. Along with the overall improvement of the Chinese economy, the strong growth momentum of foreign trade will continue," Lü said.

Global Times