China’s Slowing Export Growth Masks Diverging Markets
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China’s export markets have diverged over the past few months, with strong growth in Southeast Asia, Africa and Russia countering a softening in some of the country’s top destinations — notably the U.S. and EU.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was China’s largest trading partner, accounting for 15.5% of total trade, and its second-largest export market, behind the U.S., in 2022. In the first quarter of this year, shipments surged 17.9% year-on-year in dollar terms and in March alone jumped 35.4%. But the pace of gains sank to 4.5% in April, turning into a major drag on China’s overall export growth.
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