China Trade Balance June 2021


China: Merchandise exports grow at a faster pace in June

July 13, 2021

Merchandise exports shot up 32.2% on an annual basis in June (May: +27.9% year-on-year. Meanwhile, merchandise imports soared 36.7% on an annual basis in June (May: +51.1% yoy). Both readings markedly outpaced market expectations. Exports were spurred by strong demand from key developed markets such as the U.S. and the Eurozone, while imports were buoyed by higher commodity prices.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 51.5 billion surplus in June (May 2021: USD 45.5 billion surplus; June 2020: USD 44.8 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 617.6 billion surplus in June, compared to the USD 610.8 billion surplus in May.

Year-on-year growth rates for exports and imports will likely ebb in H2 as the base effect turns less favorable and consumers in developed markets shift consumption away from goods towards services as mobility restrictions are lifted. However, momentum should remain fairly robust nonetheless.

Our panelists forecast that exports will expand 16.4% in 2021 and imports will rise 18.0%, bringing the trade surplus to USD 581 billion. In 2022, FocusEconomics panelists expect exports will expand 3.8%, while imports will rise 6.9%, bringing the trade surplus to USD 528 billion.


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China Trade Balance Chart

China Trade12m June 2021

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and FocusEconomics calculations.

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