China Small Manufacturers’ Rising Exports to Africa Help Offset Plunging Sales to US Amid Trade War
Growing optimism is spreading among some small Chinese manufacturers in sectors ranging from car parts to textiles, as a spike in exports to countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative is starting to offset a portion of lost demand from the United States due to the trade war.
Exporters say they have seen a sharp uptick in demand from nations involved in Beijing’s trademark foreign policy initiative, which aims to link Asia, Europe and Africa with a network of ports, motorways and railways.
“Every textile factory in Haining and Yiwu city is talking because there have been a particularly large number of African buyers placing orders this year. The increase in orders from Nigeria and Ethiopia is huge.” said Steve Xie, a textile exporter from the Chinese manufacturing hub, whose own business has seen a 40 per cent increase in orders.
Africa in particular has emerged as a fast growing market for Chinese goods, thanks in part to easy access to loans from Chinese banks. While orders from European and American buyers are often of higher value, companies were making up for it with quantity, Xie said.
The total value of imports and exports between China and the 61 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative was 6.65 trillion yuan (US$945 billion) in the first 10 months of this year, up 9.5 per cent, official data from China’s statistics agency showed. The figure accounted for 29 per cent of the value of China’s total foreign trade.
China-US trade was worth 2.75 trillion yuan (US$390.9 billion) over the same period, down 10.3 per cent, accounting for about 12 per cent of China’s total trade value.
The effects of the tariff battle, coupled with domestic headwinds, are weighing on the Chinese economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in nearly three decades.
Still, many exporters like Jason Ding, who purchases car parts in bulk from factories in Dongguan city and ships them mainly to East Africa, have a new-found optimism because of growing sales to belt and road countries.
Car part exporter, Wang Wei, said: “Now everyone is rushing to the belt and road market to cushion the decline in both the domestic and US markets due to the high cost of [US trade] tariffs and sharply weaker domestic consumption power.”
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.