China-EU Trade Up 15.5% YOY in Aug 2016, Exp & Imp Scale at Record High


According to China Customs statistics, during January-August 2016, China-EU export and import value totaled CNY 2.35 trillion, up 3.5% year-on-year (YOY), accounting for 15.3% of China’s gross foreign trade; therein, China’s export to the EU reached 1.45 trillion yuan, up 2.8% YOY; import from the EU reached 897.57 billion yuan, up 4.6% YOY; trade surplus was 552.84 billion yuan, basically even with the same period of last year.

1. Characteristics of China-EU Trade in August 2016:

Both export and import hit a new record high for this year with YOY growth expanding (see the chart below).
China-EU Trade Trend Monthly for Jan 2015-Aug 2016

(1) Ordinary trade grew fast, while processing trade rebounded.

(2) Trade with Germany was the biggest in scale, trade with Central-Eastern Europe was fast in growth, and trade with Northern Europe appeared weaker than overall performance.

(3) Export was dominated by electro-mechanical products, with faster growth in that of automobile parts.

(4) Import was dominated by electro-mechanical products too, at generally fast growth. (See the table below.)
Major Commodities Traded between China and EU in Aug 2016

2. Favorable Factors for China-EU Trade Development:

(1) Both China and EU are strong in technological innovation, thus giving more opportunities to bilateral cooperation.

(2) Chinese enterprise investment in EU gets diversified in terms of objectives, thus favorable to overseas market exploration and trading activities.

3. Adverse Factors for China-EU Trade Development:

The EU has not yet officially recognized China as a market economy, with trade protectionism rising as an obstruction to bilateral trade. According to WTO rule, China will automatically become a “market economy country” from 11 December 2016, but now EU member states have not reached an agreement to give the recognition.