Two of the Greater Bay’s western cities have posted weak trade numbers for the year to date, with Zhongshan slowing in September while neighboring Jiangmen continues to struggle.
Official data shows Zhongshan’s total foreign trade from January to September 2019 at RMB 181.55 billion, up 5.3% compared with the same period of last year. Exports were strong at RMB 146.84 billion, up 11.1%, but imports fell 13.7% to RMB 34.71 billion.
These numbers were a deceleration, however. In September alone, the import and export value of Zhongshan was RMB 19.5 billion, down 5.1%. Exports were RMB 15.89 billion, up 0.2%, and imports were RMB 3.61 billion RMB, down 23.1%.
Explanations focused on the drop in trade with the US, which was being slowly replaced by trade with Belt and Road Initiative countries.
In Jiangmen, the picture was one of a more constant decline over the same period. Total trade in the year to date was RMB 105.4 billion, decreasing 1.9% compared with the same period last year. Exports totaled 84.19 billion RMB, up 2.2%; imports were RMB 21.21 billion RMB, down 15.6%.
Jiangmen’s trade with BRI countries was also picking up slowly, up just 0.9%, but trade with the EU was holding up, at +7.6%, while ASEAN trade grew 5.4%