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China’s May Total Exports Declined while Exports to Russia Increased

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU) recently reported that China’s General Administration of Customs just released import and export data for May. In U.S. dollar terms, China’s exports fell 7.5 percent year-over-year in May, turning negative again after two months. The impact of the pandemic is in the past, but the troika that promotes China’s economic development, investments, consumption and exports – have all encountered tremendous pressure this year. Also in May of this year, China’s total imports and exports reached US$501.19 billion, a year-over-year decrease of 6.2 percent. The trade surplus was US$65.81 billion, narrowing from last year’s by 16.1 percent. The fastest growing export destination for China in May was Russia, with an increase of 114.32 percent year-over-year, hitting a new record high. Exports to Africa increased by 12.94 percent, and exports to the UK increased by 3.73 percent. Other than those, exports to other major countries, regions, and economies all fell sharply in May. Exports to the United States, the European Union and ASEAN fell by 18.2 percent, 7.0 percent and 15.9 percent year-over-year respectively. The ten countries/regions/economies with the fastest year-over-year decline in cumulative exports from January to May were Taiwan, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, France, Hong Kong, Germany, the European Union, and the Netherlands. Also, China’s share of U.S. foreign trade has  declined, continuing its downward trend. China accounted for 15.4 percent of U.S. goods imports in the 12 months through April, the smallest share since October 2006.

(1) Sohu, June 7, 2023
(2) Lianhe Zaobao, June 8, 2023