Chinese Foreign Trade Hits Record Level in 2021, Breaches $6 Trillion Threshold


China’s foreign trade levels have breached the USD$6 trillion level for the first time on record, according to the latest data released by the Chinese customs authorities.

China’s imports and exports totalled $6.05 trillion in 2021, according to figures released by the General Administration of Customs on 14 January.

Trade in goods totalled 39.1 trillion yuan, for an increase of 21.4% compared to 2020. This included 21.73 trillion yuan in exports, for year-on-year (YoY) growth of 21.2%, and 17.37 trillion yuan in imports, for YoY growth of 21.5%.

Compared to 2019, China’s foreign trade in 2021 grew by 23.9%, while exports grew by 26.1% and imports rose by 21.2%.

China’s five biggest trading partners in 2021 were ASEAN, the European Union, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Trade with ASEAN totalled 5.67 trillion yuan, for YoY growth of 19.7%, while trade with the EU was 5.35 trillion, for YoY growth of 19.1%.

Trade with the US totalled 4.88 trillion yuan, for YoY growth of 20.2%, while trade with Japan was 2.4 trillion yuan (9.4% growth) and South Korea 2.34 trillion yuan (18.4% increase).

Trade with Belt and Road countries grew 23.6% in 2021, 2.2 percentage points ahead of the overall trade increase.