At a time when the global economy is in troubled times, the import and export data of many major trading countries have dropped. Analysts say the global trade “stress test” has begun.
Exports from many countries have declined recently
According to data, China’s total import and export volume in July this year was US$482.92 billion, a decrease of 13.6%.
Among them, the total export volume was US$281.76 billion, a decrease of more than 14.5%; while the total import volume was US$201.16 billion, a decrease of 12.4%. The trade surplus was US$80.6 billion, narrowing by 19.4%.
According to a report from Japan’s Ministry of Finance, exports fell by 0.3% in July, the first decline since February 2021, and imports fell by 13.5% year-on-year, the largest decline since September 2020. In July, Japan’s trade deficit reached 78.7 billion yen, compared with a surplus of 43 billion yen in June.
According to data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, South Korea’s exports in July fell 16.5% year-on-year to US$50.33 billion, the tenth consecutive month of decline and the largest decline since May 2020.
There was no significant improvement in the export decline in August. In the first 20 days, exports fell by 16.5% year-on-year, imports fell by 27.9%, and the trade deficit was US$3.566 billion.
Germany’s exports to non-EU countries in June were 59.8 billion euros, a month-on-month decrease of 1.1%; imports were 52.6 billion euros, a month-on-month decrease of 3.7%.
Some analysts pointed out that in more than three years, Germany’s export industry has “never been as bad as it is now.” Foreign trade is no longer a solid support for Germany’s economic growth, but has become an obstacle.
“The world economy is in danger”
The collective cooling of major trading countries is mainly due to the current weak world economic recovery and overall sluggish overseas demand.
According to a report released by the World Bank in June, global economic growth this year is expected to be 2.1%, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from the January forecast, but still lower than the 3.1% in 2022.
Except for individual economies, the global economy as a whole will experience weak growth this year and next and is still in a state of instability. Indermit Gill, chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank Group, bluntly stated that “the world economy is in danger.”
The United States’ repeated “de-risking” policies have also hindered normal trade exchanges. For example, the recent export volume of South Korea’s main export product, chips, has shrunk significantly, which is directly related to the sluggish chip market under the United States’ “decoupling and disconnection” strategy.
Weak external demand is tantamount to a “stress test” for major economies, which will further widen the gap in trade strength between countries.
China’s foreign trade prospects are promising
Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of China, said that in the overall global economic and trade downturn, those who can stand out are the truly competitive trading powers.
Huo Jianguo, vice president of the China World Trade Organization Research Association, said that the foundation and resilience of China’s export-oriented economic development are still very strong.
The successful experience of more than 40 years of reform and opening up has proven that the development of an open economy has brought tremendous changes to China. Foreign trade, foreign investment, overseas investment and the “Belt and Road” construction have all achieved considerable development.
From the perspective of foreign trade, China’s current “three new items” of exports continue to maintain high growth, and private enterprises accounting for more than 60% of exports have also maintained positive growth. This has strengthened our confidence and determination to stabilize exports.
It is particularly worth mentioning that China’s automobile exports have been a highlight in recent years. In particular, the export of new energy vehicles has maintained high growth year after year. It is gratifying when the overall foreign trade is under pressure, indicating that China’s new energy vehicle manufacturing The capabilities and levels have been greatly improved, and strong international competitiveness has been formed.
Zhao Guangbin, senior economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers China, said that the current difficulties faced by China’s foreign trade should be short-term. When the global economy and trade recover, China’s economy and foreign trade will also recover. This is because, as the world’s factory, China’s manufacturing scale and advantages are difficult to replace.
Focusing on the future, as China actively integrates with world rules, regulations, management, and standards, it will accelerate high-level opening up and strengthen institutional opening up.
With the empowerment of 21 free trade pilot zones across the country and the Hainan Free Trade Port, coupled with the accelerated construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the in-depth advancement of the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, China’s foreign trade will surely reach a higher starting point and a better On the bright road of high quality and higher development level.