China Trade Tracker Released | Issue 7 - May 2023
Issue Seven provides an overview of Chinese trade in the second half of 2022 (Jul 1 – Dec 31) and analysis of UK macro regions from north to south. It draws on HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data compiled by CBBC.
The Trade Tracker’s key findings for the second half of 2022:
- The majority of UK regions experienced positive year-on-year trade growth with China
- The UK’s fastest growing exporters included Yorkshire and The Humber (+41%), London (+27%) and the North East (+25%)
- The UK’s top exporters to China were London (£1.42b), West Midlands (£1.37b), North West (£0.92b), and South East (£0.69b)
- UK’s biggest export to China, automobiles, grew 13% year-on-year to £1.98 billion
- Scotland’s trade with China recovered 9.1% after falling for five consecutive 6-month periods, boosted by a 129% rise in beverage exports
- Welsh exports to China grew 12%, carrying on an uninterrupted run of year-on-year growth that began in 2015
As for the entirety of 2022, UK-China trade grew by 38% to £38bn (ONS figures) providing a welcome boost to the economy at a time when many British exporters are struggling. Total two-way trade grew to £111bn, making China the UK’s fourth biggest trade partner.
Trade is expected to receive another boost now that China has lifted its epidemic restrictions, leading to a rapid uptick in domestic consumption and opening the door to two-way business travel and exchanges for the first time in years.
The Chinese government have repeatedly stressed that the country is open to foreign business and investment, and that boosting economic growth – forecast at over 5% for this year – is a top priority.
The UK government recently acknowledged the importance of continued engagement and maintaining economic ties with China in its Integrated Review Refresh of foreign and security policy: “While avoiding dependence in our critical supply chains and protecting our national security, we believe that a positive trade and investment relationship can benefit both the UK and China,” it stated.
UK goods exports to China have grown a staggering 495% over the past 15 years. Despite this, the G7 countries and Australia all export more to China than the UK.