Exports from China more than expected

In July 2022, China exported 18% more than in July 2021. According to the Chinese government, which bases its export figures on customs figures, the difference between imports and exports has never been so big.  In total, China exported 101 billion dollars more than it imported.

These figures are much better than expected. Analysts had expected an increase of about 15%, partly because it was expected that, due to high inflation in many rich countries, there will be much less imports from China. Surveys among manufacturers also showed that there would be a contraction of Chinese industry. In practice, this turned out not to be the case, mainly because Western importers want to anticipate price increases and therefore import the goods in advance to have enough stock before the holiday season starts.

Earlier this year, severe lockdowns already caused major disruptions in logistics. Now these problems are less severe, which means that Southeast Asian importers of Chinese products may be catching up. However, it does suggest that export figures have risen mainly due to higher prices as volume did fall in July, according to an analyst from Zhixin Investment Research Institute. Import figures also rose compared with last year, with China importing 2.3% more. In particular, crude oil and chips decreased, which is remarkable because the Chinese factories need these products to manufacture products.