Chinese exports fell further in October, hitting a 17-month low, as weak global demand and the country’s zero-COVID policy continued to weigh on trade, Reuters reported on November 7, 2023.
According to data from the General Administration of Customs, exports in October fell 0.3% from a year earlier after declining 5.7% in September. Imports rose 0.7%, leading to a trade surplus of $73.5 billion, the smallest since May 2022.
A drop in shipments of electronics, machinery, and textiles largely drove the decline in exports. Exports to the United States fell 12.6%, while those to the European Union fell 9.2%.
“The weak export data is a further sign that China’s economy is slowing,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics. “The global slowdown is weighing on demand for Chinese goods, and the zero-COVID policy is disrupting production and supply chains.”
The Chinese government has vowed to support exporters. Still, analysts say it is easier to see a significant export rebound once the global economy picks up and the zero-COVID policy is relaxed.