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China’s exports fell less than expected in December

Cargo ships dock at the container terminal in Lianyungang port, east China’s Jiangsu province, 7 December 2022.

CFOTO | Future Publishing | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s exports and imports fell less than expected in December, the customs administration said Friday.

The milder decline meant that trade continued to grow throughout 2022.

China̵[ads1]7;s exports fell 9.9% in December from a year ago in US dollar terms, slightly better than the 10% decline forecast in a Reuters poll.

China’s imports fell 7.5% year-on-year in December in US dollar terms, also better than the 9.8% decline forecast by Reuters.

Strong exports boosted China’s economy over the past two years. But economists expect a decline in demand from the US and Europe.

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Already, China’s exports began to fall year-on-year in October – for the first time since May 2020, according to Wind Information.

For all of 2022, China’s exports grew by 7.7% and imports by 1.1%, the customs service said.

Cross-border e-commerce between China and other countries grew 9.8% in 2022 from a year ago to 2.11 trillion yuan ($301.42 billion), according to official figures. Such direct-to-consumer exports increased by 11.7% year-on-year.

However, it marked a decline from 2021, when China’s cross-border e-commerce grew 15% to 1.98 trillion yuan ($311.5 billion) and exports rose 24.5%.

China’s imports from the EU and the US fell in 2022, while imports from ASEAN grew somewhat.

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