China’s growth in imports surpasses exports in first quarter

Published on
May 26, 2017

China’s seafood exports totaled 1.08 million metric tons (MT) in the first quarter, up 6.2 percent on the same period last year. They rose 1.2 percent in value terms, to USD 4.5 billion (EUR 4 billion).

Imports, meanwhile, totaled 1.06 million MT, worth USD 2.36 billion (EUR 2.1 billion), up 24.1 percent and 19.9 percent, respectively, on the first quarter of 2016. 

China’s trade surplus in seafood products – one of the increasingly few agricultural food categories in which it enjoys such a surplus – continues to tighten and dropped 13.6 percent year-on-year for the first quarter. 

The country’s exports of what Chinese Customs classes as “ordinary,” or unprocessed, seafood (a subsector that encompasses whole and filleted tilapia, among other products) rose 9.6 percent to 742,000 MT and rose 2.3 percent in value terms to USD 3.45 billion (EUR 3.09 billion).

Processed products totalled 242,000 MT, worth USD 1.09 billion (EUR 973 million) – down 7.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. Processed product as a percentage of overall exports fell by 1.27 percentage points. At 176,000 MT worth USD 827 million (EUR 738 million), imported material for processing dropped 5.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. 

At 377,000 MT, total imports of material for processing explicitly for re-export dropped 16.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, representing a 16.5 percent decrease year-on-year. In value terms, the drop is 12.3 percent to USD 222 million (EUR 198 million). Processing for re-export – representing 21 percent China’s total exports – dropped 1.98 percent.

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