World trade: China’s exports increased by about 17 percent in May

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world trade

China’s exports grew about 17 percent in May

Strike corona measures have weighed on the Chinese economy in recent months.

Photo: DPA

With some areas of China hit by the recent lockdown, trade has seen little improvement. But foreign companies keep complaining about major uncertainties.

Beijing. Against the background of a somewhat more stable epidemic situation, China’s foreign trade grew faster than expected in May.

The exports of the second-largest economy rose 16.9 percent year-on-year to $308.3 billion (287.2 billion euros), the Beijing Customs Administration announced on Thursday. Imports also rose 4.1 percent to $229.5 billion, faster than analysts had expected.

In the first half of the year, China’s economy came under pressure from tough measures to protect against the corona virus. However, some restrictions have recently been eased as the number of infections has fallen. A two-month lockdown in Shanghai, the country’s main economic hub, ended last week, which could boost business in the coming months.

Uncertainties continue to weigh on

Despite the most recent easing, foreign trade representatives continued to complain about major uncertainties. It is therefore little known when and where the next lockdown will be in the country, which could have a negative impact on trade and supply chains.

In a survey published in mid-May by the German Chamber of Foreign Trade, 73 percent of the participants said they work in cities or regions where there was a partial or complete curfew. Only every fifth German company had a special permit to continue producing despite the sanctions. Conditions in China also made it difficult to keep German personnel in the country.

China’s Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Xuwen warned of further uncertainties on Wednesday. “Potential threats” came from the fragile global economy, high international inflation and logistical constraints within China. Also on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang called for strengthening foreign trade. He urged to improve the efficiency of ports and customs clearance. The stability of the supply chains must also be guaranteed.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220609-99-598591/3

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