On August 8th, the General Administration of Customs released data showing that in the first seven months of this year, China's total import and export value was 23.55 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 0.4%. Among them, exports reached 13.47 trillion yuan, an increase of 1.5%; Import reached 10.08 trillion yuan, a decrease of 1.1%; The trade surplus reached 3.39 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.3%.
In July, China's total import and export value was 3.46 trillion yuan, a decrease of 8.3%. Among them, exports reached 2.02 trillion yuan, a decrease of 9.2%; Import reached 1.44 trillion yuan, a decrease of 6.9%; The trade surplus was 575.7 billion yuan, narrowing by 14.6%. Lu Daliang, spokesperson for the General Administration of Customs and Director of the Department of Statistics and Analysis, stated that since the second quarter of this year, China's monthly import and export scale has remained stable at over 3.4 trillion yuan. In July, China's import and export amounted to 3.46 trillion yuan, which is at a relatively high level in the same period in history. Compared to the same period in 2019, it increased by 25.7%, 4.5% higher than the average for the same period from 2020 to 2022. Overall, China's foreign trade import and export operations are stable and in line with expectations, and the long-term positive fundamentals have not changed.
Since the beginning of this year, China's foreign trade has faced a more severe and complex internal and external environment. Affected by multiple factors such as weak external demand and geopolitical factors, the global trade growth trend has been weak, which has also brought significant challenges to the smooth operation of China's foreign trade imports and exports.
Against this backdrop, China's foreign trade operation adheres to the overall tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability, presenting three highlights.
The trade structure has been continuously optimized, and the proportion of general trade imports and exports has increased. Since the beginning of this year, China's economy has shown a trend of stabilization and recovery, with production and demand gradually improving, promoting a significant stabilization of foreign trade imports and exports. In the first seven months, China's general trade import and export reached 15.41 trillion yuan, an increase of 2.1%, accounting for 65.4% of China's total foreign trade value, an increase of 1.1 percentage points compared to the same period last year. In addition, China's imports and exports through bonded logistics amounted to 3.04 trillion yuan, an increase of 8.1%.
Export to ASEAN increased, and trade along the "the Belt and Road" accelerated. In the first seven months, ASEAN was China's largest trading partner, with a total trade value of 3.59 trillion yuan, an increase of 2.8%, accounting for 15.3% of the total foreign trade value. Among them, exports to ASEAN reached 2.11 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.7%. The European Union and the United States continue to maintain China's status as the second and third largest trading partners, but there has been a significant decline in exports to both the EU and the United States, resulting in a significant correction in trade surplus. Over the same period, China's imports and exports to countries along the "the Belt and Road" totaled 8.06 trillion yuan, up 7.4%.
The import and export of domestic enterprises have maintained growth, and the market share of private enterprises continues to increase. In the first seven months, the import and export of private enterprises reached 12.46 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.7%, accounting for 52.9% of China's total foreign trade value, an increase of 3.1 percentage points compared to the same period last year. Among them, exports reached 8.49 trillion yuan, an increase of 7.3%, accounting for 63% of the total export value; Import reached 3.97 trillion yuan, an increase of 5.3%, accounting for 39.4% of the total import value. The import and export growth rate and trade proportion of private enterprises have remained above half, playing a positive role in stabilizing the scale and optimizing the structure of foreign trade. The import and export of state-owned enterprises reached 3.82 trillion yuan, an increase of 0.8%, accounting for 16.2% of China's total foreign trade value. During the same period, the import and export of foreign-invested enterprises reached 7.21 trillion yuan, a decrease of 9.4%, accounting for 30.6% of China's total foreign trade value.
From the perspective of exported goods, the proportion of mechanical and electrical products exported is nearly 60%. In the first seven months, China's export of mechanical and electrical products reached 7.83 trillion yuan, an increase of 4.4%, accounting for 58.1% of the total export value. Affected by the sluggish global electronic consumer market, China's exports of automatic data processing equipment and its components, as well as mobile phones, have all decreased. However, automobile exports have increased by 118.5%, with a total export value of 383.73 billion yuan. The import of bulk commodities has shown a mixed trend, with the import volume of iron ore, crude oil, and coal increasing and decreasing, while the import volume and price of natural gas and soybeans have both increased.
China's exports to other RCEP member countries have maintained stable growth. In June of this year, with the official entry into force of RCEP for the Philippines, it marked a new stage of comprehensive implementation of the world's largest free trade zone. Xu Deshun, a researcher at the International Trade and Economic Cooperation Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, stated that the widespread application of tariff concessions and RCEP rules of origin accumulation will effectively reduce the cost of intra regional trade and help to form a comprehensive, mutually beneficial, and higher-level economic partnership.