Guangdong’s recovering foreign trade numbers have been somewhat surprising since the start of this year. The downturn in US-China relations and the imposition of trade tariffs had been expected to hit China’s biggest exporting province the hardest. And yet trade was still up – barely, at 0.8% YoY in the first four months, but still not as bad as had been feared.
Two reasons for this have been revealed by sources within the Guangdong Customs Department recently: Russia and Latin America.
From January to April this year, trade with Russia jumped 26.5% to RMB19.74 billion. Most of that was exports, at RMB18.5 billion. This is only a fraction of the province’s overall exports, at RMB1.2 trillion, but it is enough to move the needle.
Latin American trade was much larger, and not all of it was exports. According to the Customs data, from January to April, Guangdong traded goods worth RMB92.18 billion yuan from Latin American countries, up 10.3% year-on-year. Exports were RMB64.51 billion, up 6.9%; imports were RMB27.67 billion yuan, up 19.2%.