Guangdong’s foreign trade is picking up, albeit slowly. Provincial data show total imports and exports in the first four months of the year at 1.92 trillion yuan, a 9.8% YoY drop, but 2 percentage points better than the number reported at the end of March. By month, the YoY contraction in foreign trade has been steadily improving, from -15% in January-February, to -6% in March, and now -4.9% in April.
Part of the reason for this narrowing has been the pickup in exports of medical equipment, which in April were up 52% YoY, pharmaceuticals, up 67.9%, and masks, which jumped by four times the amount shipped a year ago.
Those weren’t all, however: exports of electronic components were up 6.7%, computers by 19.3%, and home appliances by 11.7%.
In terms of imports, Guangdong led the country, particularly in mechanical and electrical products (+4.3%), while coal jumped by 19.1% and natural gas by 76.8%. Imports of consumer goods such as pork, fresh and dried fruits, and grain increased by 1.7 times, 49.1% and 5.9%, respectively.
Processing trade is recovering, Since this year, processing trade, which accounts for 1/3 of Guangdong’s total foreign trade, has been the most directly affected by the epidemic. In the first quarter, Guangdong’s import and export of processing trade was 385.6 billion yuan, a decrease of 25.6%. But now, the areas hit hardest are “stabilizing.” In April, Guangdong’s imports and exports of processing trade amounted to 157 billion yuan, down 13%, a decrease of 12.6 percentage points from the first quarter. SCN.