Cargo ships dock at the container terminal in Lianyungang Port, east China’s Jiangsu province, 7 December 2022.
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BEIJING — China’s exports and imports fell less than expected in December, the customs administration said Friday.
The milder decline means trade still grew throughout 2022.
China’s exports fell 9.9 percent in December from a year earlier in U.S. dollar terms, slightly better than the 10 percent decline forecast by a Reuters poll.
China’s imports fell 7.5 percent year-on-year in December in U.S. dollar terms, also better than the 9.8 percent decline forecast by Reuters.
Strong exports have supported China’s economy over the past two years. But economists expect a slowdown in demand from the US and Europe.
China’s exports have already started to decline year-on-year in October – for the first time since May 2020according to Wind Information.
For the whole of 2022, China’s exports grew by 7.7% and imports by 1.1%, the customs agency said.
Cross-border e-commerce between China and other countries grew 9.8 percent in 2022 from a year earlier to 2.11 trillion yuan ($301.42 billion), according to official data. Such direct exports to consumers increased by 11.7% year-on-year.
But that marked a slowdown from 2021, when China’s cross-border e-commerce grew 15 percent to 1.98 trillion yuan ($311.5 billion) and exports jumped 24.5 percent.
of China imports from the EU and the US decreased in 2022, while those from ASEAN rose slightly.
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