China’s Top 10 Exports

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In 2013, China’s top 10 exports accounted for 67.8% of the overall value of its global shipments. Exports from the People’s Republic of China amounted to US$2.2 trillion, up 84% since 2009.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, China’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $13.374 trillion in 2013.

Therefore, exports accounted for about 16.5% of China’s total economic output.

Given China’s population of 1.35 billion people, the total $2.2 trillion in 2013 Chinese exports translates to roughly $1,638 for every person in the country. This compares with a benchmark $2,545 in exports per person for the world’s total exports(assuming an estimated global population of 7,095,217,980 per the CIA World Factbook).

China’s Top 10 Exports

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Chinese global shipments during 2012. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of China’s overall exports.

  1. Electronic equipment: $561,703,550,000 (25.4% of total exports)
  2. Machinery: $383,310,504,000 (17.3%)
  3. Knit or crochet clothing and accessories: $96,810,372,000 (4.4%)
  4. Furniture, lighting , signs and prefabricated buildings: $86,435,683,000 (3.9%)
  5. Optical, technical and medical apparatus: $74,689,712,000 (3.4%)
  6. Non-knit and non-crochet clothing and accessories: $68,271,919,000 (3.1%)
  7. Plastics: $61,775,281,000 (2.8%)
  8. Vehicles excluding trains and streetcars: $58,588,779,000 (2.7%)
  9. Iron or steel articles: $57,368,576,000 (2.6%)
  10. Footwear: $50,766,207,000 (2.3%)

Some of the industries supporting these exports, such as manufacturing electronic equipment and producing clothing, are labor intensive. This may explain why China’s unemployment rate is 6.4 per cent — compared to the estimated 9 per cent global average.

Please note that the exports listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also China’s Top Import Partners, Fastest-Growing Chinese Export Products and Highest Value Chinese Export Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 7, 2014

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 7, 2014

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on March 7, 2014