China’s Top 10 Imports

China's Top 10 Imports

by Flagpictures.org

The People’s Republic of China imported US$1.841 trillion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, down by -5.6% since 2013 but up by 15.9% from 2016 to 2017.

Chinese imports represent approximately 11.5% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $16.054 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective, 55.9% of China’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from other Asian countries. European trade partners accounted for 17.7% of imported goods bought by China while 10.2% worth originated from North America. Smaller percentage of overall Chinese imports came from Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (6.2%), Australia and other Oceanian sources (5.8%) and Africa (4%).

Given China’s population of 1.379 billion people, its total $1.841 trillion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $1,350 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

China’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in China’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into China.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, China’s highest value imported goods are electronic circuits and microassemblies, crude oil, iron, cars, mobile phones then soya beans.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$455.5 billion (24.7% of total Chinese imports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $247.6 billion (13.4%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $169.8 billion (9.2%)
  4. Ores, slag, ash: $125.4 billion (6.8%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $97.4 billion (5.3%)
  6. Vehicles: $79.2 billion (4.3%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $68.9 billion (3.7%)
  8. Organic chemicals: $55.8 billion (3%)
  9. Oil seeds: $44.5 billion (2.4%)
  10. Copper: $41.2 billion (2.2%)

China’s top 10 imports account for three-quarters (75.2%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported mineral fuels including oil had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 40.2% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for expanding import purchases by China was the ores, slag and ash category via a 32.7% increase, trailed by Chinese imports of organic chemicals’ 27% gain and the 23.9% boost in copper imports.

The slowest improver among China’s top import categories was optical, technical and medical apparatus via a 5.1% year-over-year acceleration.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Electrical

In 2017, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electrical products including consumer electronics:

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$258.6 billion (up 13.6% from 2016)
  2. Phone system devices including smartphones: $47.8 billion (up 4.1%)
  3. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $27.9 billion (up 0.02%)
  4. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $15.5 billion (up 9.2%)
  5. TV/radio/radar device parts: $12.3 billion (up 30.9%)
  6. Printed circuits: $11.6 billion (up 12.4%)
  7. Electrical converters/power units: $11.1 billion (up 2.9%)
  8. Electrical capacitators: $8.7 billion (up 8.1%)
  9. Insulated wire/cable: $5.3 billion (up 7.2%)
  10. Unrecorded sound media: $5.1 billion (down -0.9%)

Among these import subcategories, China’s purchases of TV, radio or radar device parts (up 30.9%), integrated circuits or microassemblies (up 13.6%) and printed circuits (up 12.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Chinese businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2017, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Crude oil: US$162.2 billion (up 39% from 2016)
  2. Petroleum gases: $33 billion (up 43.5%)
  3. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $18.5 billion (up 60.9%)
  4. Processed petroleum oils: $14.5 billion (up 29.7%)
  5. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $10.3 billion (up 18.5%)
  6. Lignite: $4.1 billion (up 53.7%)
  7. Petroleum oil residues: $2.5 billion (up 78.3%)
  8. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $1.9 billion (up 103.8%)
  9. Electrical energy: $310.3 million (down -3%)
  10. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $143 million (up 18.9%)

Among these import subcategories, China’s purchases of asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 103.8%), petroleum oil residues (up 78.3%) and coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 60.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fossil fuel among Chinese businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$26 billion (up 1% from 2016)
  2. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $19.6 billion (up 40%)
  3. Computer parts, accessories: $14.7 billion (up 10.3%)
  4. Miscellaneous machinery: $12.4 billion (up 29.9%)
  5. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $7.7 billion (up 9.9%)
  6. Printing machinery: $7.7 billion (up 6.3%)
  7. Turbo-jets: $6.6 billion (up 15.5%)
  8. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $5.4 billion (up 18.2%)
  9. Air or vacuum pumps: $5.2 billion (up 7.5%)
  10. Liquid pumps and elevators: $4.3 billion (up 9.5%)

Among these import subcategories, China’s purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 40%), miscellaneous machinery (up 29.9%) and transmission shafts, gears or clutches (up 18.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Chinese businesses and consumers.

Ores

In 2017, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of ores, slag or ash:

  1. Iron ores, concentrates: US$76.2 billion (up 31.2% from 2016)
  2. Copper ores, concentrates: $26.1 billion (up 25%)
  3. Manganese ores, concentrates: $4 billion (up 92.7%)
  4. Aluminum ores, concentrates: $3.5 billion (up 39.5%)
  5. Chromium ores, concentrates: $3.4 billion (up 112.8%)
  6. Precious metal ores, concentrates: $3 billion (up 13.3%)
  7. Zinc ores, concentrates: $2.2 billion (up 72.7%)
  8. Nickel ores, concentrates: $2.1 billion (up 37.1%)
  9. Lead ores, concentrates: $1.7 billion (up 15.8%)
  10. Tin ores, concentrates: $923.2 million (up 13.3%)

Among these import subcategories, China’s purchases of chromium ores or concentrates (up 112.8%), manganese ores or concentrates (up 92.7%) and zinc ores or concentrates (up 72.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported ores and concentrates among Chinese businesses and consumers.



 
See also China’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Top Chinese Trade Balances, Highest Value Chinese Export Products, China’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value Chinese Import Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 21, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 21, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on April 21, 2018