April 25, 2016

Global Economic Analysis and News of Note: China’s Share Of Global Exports Continues To Grow

  • Chinese steel output increased 2.9 percent to 70.65 million metric tons, the reading’s highest level ever, from March 2015 to March 2016. Bloomberg noted, “The country’s steelmakers are ramping up output after cuts at the end of 2015 fueled a major price surge that has rippled out to world markets” while CRU Group Researcher Kevin Bai said, “It’s normal to see higher output in March but this is a significant increase.” Aluminum production in China rose 2.7 percent from March 2015 to March 2016 to 2.62 million tons.
  • Reuters reported last week that, according to United Nations data, China’s share of global exports increased to 13.8 percent in 2015 from 12.3 percent in 2014. Those figures mean China now enjoys the highest share of exports any country “has enjoyed since the United States in 1968.” Reuters noted, “The success belies widespread predictions rising costs for Chinese labor and a currency that has increased nearly 20 percent against the dollar in the last decade would cause China to lose market share to cheaper competitors.” Imports to China, meanwhile, fell 14 percent from 2014 to 2015, a fact that Reuters said led “some economists to suggest China was deploying an ‘import substitution’ strategy that is pushing foreign brands out of its domestic markets.”