China’s foreign trade grows for a second month in November

A view of a container port in east China’s Jiangsu Province, November 18, 2023. /CFP

A view of a container port in east China’s Jiangsu Province, November 18, 2023. /CFP

China’s foreign trade achieved a second consecutive month of growth in November, demonstrating steady improvement of the trade sector.

China’s imports and exports grew 1.2 percent year on year in November to 3.7 trillion yuan ($520 billion), exports rose 1.7 percent and imports saw a 0.6 percent increase, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday.

On a dollar-denominated basis, exports grew 0.5 percent in November, beating analysts’ expectations for a decline of 1.1 percent as polled by Reuters. Meanwhile, imports edged down 0.6 percent in dollar terms.

For the first 11 months of the year, China’s total trade value was 37.96 trillion yuan, unchanged from the same period last year.

Exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China’s largest trading partner, grew 0.1 percent in the first 11 months, making up 15.3 percent of the total foreign trade.

China’s trade with the European Union dropped 2.2 percent while trade with the U.S. fell 6.9 percent in the first 11 months.

Private enterprises continued to drive China’s trade growth. In the first 11 months, private enterprises’ imports and exports grew 6.1 percent, accounting for 53.3 percent of China’s total trade value. This was up 3.1 percentage points from a year earlier.

Bruce Pang, chief economist and head of research at JLL Greater China cautioned that external demand remains relatively weak, and holiday orders were below expectations. Pang called for more efforts than supply-side policy support to boost growth in the long run.

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