In this blog post, we’ll be discussing China’s top important exports for 2021.
As the world’s largest exporter by value, China exported $2.591 trillion worth of goods around the globe in 2020, representing a 22.3% increase from 2016 to 2019 and a 3.7% increase from 2019 to 2020.
This accounts for 13.8% of total global exports, based on a total of $19.709 trillion in 2019. In addition to being a major exporter, China is also a major importer, with goods worth $2.056 trillion being imported in 2020, representing a 29.4% increase from 2016 to 2019, but a 0.6% decrease from 2019 to 2020. In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at China’s top trading partners, imports, and exports, as well as the trends in these areas from 2019 to 2021.
Part 1: China’s Top Trading Partners
As mentioned earlier, China is a major player in the global trade market, with exports and imports totaling trillions of dollars each year.
When looking at the continent of origin, almost half (47.6%) of China’s exports went to other Asian countries, while 20.8% went to North American importers and 20.7% went to European countries. Africa received 4.4% of China’s exports, Latin America (excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean) received 4.1%, and Oceania (led by Australia) received 2.5%.
Here is a list of China’s top 15 trading partners in terms of export sales (i.e., the countries that imported the most Chinese shipments in 2021):
- United States: $452.6 billion (17.5% of total Chinese exports)
- Hong Kong: $272.7 billion (10.5%)
- Japan: $142.6 billion (5.5%)
- Vietnam: $113.8 billion (4.4%)
- South Korea: $112.5 billion (4.3%)
- Germany: $86.8 billion (3.4%)
- Netherlands: $79 billion (3%)
- United Kingdom: $72.6 billion (2.8%)
- India: $66.7 billion (2.6%)
- Taiwan: $60.1 billion (2.3%)
- Singapore: $57.5 billion (2.2%)
- Malaysia: $56.4 billion (2.2%)
- Australia: $53.5 billion (2.1%)
- Russia: $50.6 billion (2%)
- Thailand: $50.5 billion (2%)
From 2019 to 2021, the previously mentioned 15 trade partners will account for 66.7% of Chinese exports.
Among these, the United Kingdom saw the fastest rate of increase in import purchases from China at 16.6%, followed by Vietnam with a 16.1% increase and Australia with an 11.2% increase.
Thailand saw a 10.8% increase, and Taiwan saw a 9.2% increase.
However, India’s imports from China decreased by 10.9%, Hong Kong’s imports decreased by 2.5%, and Japan saw a 0.4% decrease.
Part 2: China’s Top Imports
The Chinese yuan has depreciated by 3.9% against the US dollar since 2016, according to the average exchange rate for 2020, but has increased by 0.1% from 2019 to 2020.
Due to the weaker local currency in 2020 compared to 2016, imports paid in stronger US dollars will be relatively more expensive when converted from Chinese yuan.
When looking at the continent of origin, fellow Asian countries accounted for 56.3% of China’s total imports by value in 2020.
China purchased 18% of its imported goods from European trading partners, 8.5% from North American suppliers, 7.2% from Latin America (excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean), 6.4% from Australian and other Oceanian sources, and 6.4% from African countries.
China’s top imports are electronic equipment, machinery, and oil. In 2021, China’s top imported products by value were:
- Electronic equipment: $575.8 billion (22.6% of total imports)
- Machinery: $507.9 billion (19.9%)
- Oil: $277.9 billion (10.9%)
- Iron and steel: $169.9 billion (6.6%)
- Plastics: $129.2 billion (5%)
- Optical, technical, and medical equipment: $118.9 billion (4.7%)
- Clothing (not including footwear): $101.6 billion (4%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $89.9 billion (3.5%)
- Copper: $82.9 billion (3.2%)
- Organic chemicals: $75.9 billion (3%)
Part 3: China’s Top Exported Products
China’s top exports are electronic equipment, machinery, and textiles. In 2021, China’s top exported products by value were:
- Electronic equipment: $541.3 billion (20.9% of total exports)
- Machinery: $409.2 billion (15.7%)
- Textiles: $274.4 billion (10.5%)
- Footwear: $74.8 billion (2.9%)
- Clothing (not including footwear): $70.8 billion (2.7%)
- Plastics: $69.8 billion (2.7%)
- Furniture, lighting, signs: $59.2 billion (2.3%)
- Toys, games: $51.8 billion (2%)
- Iron and steel: $49.5 billion (1.9%)
- Medical, technical equipment: $47.5 billion (1.8%)
From 2019 to 2021, China’s top exported products saw an overall increase in value, with electronic equipment seeing the largest increase at 4.9%, followed by machinery at 4.1% and textiles at 3.8%.
Footwear saw a 3.2% increase, while clothing (not including footwear) saw a 2.9% increase.
Plastics saw a 2.8% increase, and furniture, lighting, signs saw a 2.4% increase.
Toys and games saw a 1.9% increase, while iron and steel saw a 1.6% increase.
Medical and technical equipment saw a 1.5% increase.
China is a major player in the global trade market, with a strong focus on exports and imports of electronic equipment, machinery, and oil. In 2021, China’s top trading partners in terms of export sales were the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea, while its top imported products were electronic equipment, machinery, and oil. China’s top exported products were electronic equipment, machinery, and textiles. From 2019 to 2021, the country saw an overall increase in the value of its exports and imports, with certain products and trading partners seeing larger increases than others. Understanding these trends can be helpful for businesses looking to enter the Chinese market or increase their trade with China. It is worth noting that China’s trade and economic policies have been the subject of much scrutiny and debate in recent years, and businesses should be aware of the potential risks and challenges when doing business with or in China. However, with its large and rapidly growing economy, China remains an attractive market for many businesses around the world. We hope you found this blog post on China’s top important exports for 2021 informative and helpful. For more business expert insights and analysis, be sure to check our others blog posts. Thank you for reading.