China | Chinese imports are growing at the fastest pace in a decade, with export growth slower than expected

The increase in imports is the result of increasing demand for raw materials and rising prices.

China’s imports grew at the fastest pace in a decade in May, according to the news agency Reuters.

Imports grew by 51.1 per cent year-on-year in May, with the fastest growth rate since January 2011.

The growth is a result of growing demand for raw materials and rising prices. The closures caused by the pandemic have pushed up prices for coal, steel, iron ore and copper, for example.

Capital Economics leading economist Julian Evans-Pritchard therefore estimated that although imports increased in value terms, the volume of imports was likely to decrease in May.

“Once again, the reason is supply constraints – incoming deliveries of semiconductors continued to decline. The same was true for imports of industrial metals, ”says Evans-Pritchard.

China’s exports have grown more slowly than expected. In dollar terms, exports grew by 27.9 per cent year-on-year in May. Growth was 32.3 percent in April, with analysts pushing up 32.1 percent for May.

Although the rapid recovery in developed markets has strengthened demand for Chinese products, growth has been slowed by global semiconductor shortages, rising raw material and freight costs, a logistics bottleneck and a strengthening yuan, among others.

The coronavirus pandemic has also played a role in slowing growth. Large shipping companies have warned their customers about cargo congestion due to coronavirus infections by Shenzhen port staff.

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