Chinese Foreign Trade Has Undergone “Structural Optimisation”: Ministry of Commerce


The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) says that the latest trade data points to further “optimisation” of the structure of Chinese foreign trade over the period from January – July, with a dramatic contraction in the country’s trade surplus and greater diversification of trade partners.

Data from the General Administration of Customs indicates that during the period from January-July China’s total imports and exports hit a record high of 16.72 trillion yuan, for YoY growth of 8.6%.

Exports saw 5% growth to reach 8.89 trillion yuan, while imports posted 12.9% growth to reach 7.83 trillion yuan, for a trade surplus of 1.07 trillion yuan, or a contraction of 30.6%.

In the month of July alone China’s total imports and exports were worth 2.60 trillion yuan, for a rise of 12.5%.

A MOFCOM spokesperson said that since the start of 2018 China has seen rapid trade growth, optimisation of the trade structure and an accelerated shift in drivers, accompanied by further increases in quality and benefits.

“Since the start of the year the global economy and trade have recovered, and the domestic economy has continued to consolidate a trend of improvement amidst stability,” said an official from MOFCOM’s trade office. “[This] provides growth in China’s foreign trade with vigorous support.”

With regard to structural optimisation MOFCOM said that China’s dealings with overseas markets had become more diversified, following rapid growth in trade with emerging economies in tandem with the consolidation of relations with the established trade partners of North America, the EU and Japan.

Chinese trade with BRIC nations and Belt and Road nations saw growth of 12.4% and 11.3% respectively during the first seven months of the year.

China’s internal regional trade pattern has also become more balanced, with the central and western regions seeing import and export growth of 15.0%, 6.4 percentage points ahead of the national figure.

Central and western China now account for 15.6% of Chinese foreign trade, for a 0.9 percentage point increase.

MOFCOM further points out that the goods structure has further improved, with 6.8% growth in exports of mechanical and electronics goods and a 1.0 percentage point rise in their share of trade to reach 58.3%.

Automobile, mobile phone and computer exports saw increases of 17.9%, 8.9% and 5.2% respectively.

Private enterprise exports rise by 7.6%, while their share of exports rose 1.2 percentage points to reach 47.7%.

MOFCOM said that the next step will be to push for the “innovative growth” in added-value trade, the implementation of more active import policies, and further increases to the level of trade convenience.