China’s Top 10 Imports

China's Top 10 Imports

by Flagpictures.org

China imported US$1.589 trillion worth of goods from around the globe in 2016, up by 58% since 2009 but down by -5.5% from 2015 to 2016.

China’s top 10 imports account for nearly three-quarters (73.7%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Chinese imports represent 9.6% of total global imports which totaled $16.473 trillion one year earlier in 2015.

From a continental perspective, 57.2% of China’s total imports by value in 2016 were purchased from other Asian countries. European trade partners accounted for 18.1% of import sales to China while 10.3% worth originated from North America. At 3.6%, African exporters provided a smaller percentage of overall Chinese imports.

Given China’s population of 1.374 billion people, its total $1.589 trillion in 2016 imports translates to roughly $1,200 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 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into China.

  1. Electronic equipment: US$431.6 billion (25.7% of total Chinese imports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$414.3 billion (26.1% of total imports)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $175.8 billion (11.1%)
  4. Machinery including computers: $147.8 billion (9.3%)
  5. Ores, slag, ash: $93.2 billion (5.9%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $92.6 billion (5.8%)
  7. Vehicles : $71.5 billion (4.5%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $61 billion (3.8%)
  9. Organic chemicals: $43.9 billion (2.8%)
  10. Oil seeds: $38.3 billion (2.4%)
  11. Copper: $33.2 billion (2.1%)

Imported electrical machinery and equipment had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 70% for the 7-year period starting in 2009.

In second place for improving import purchases were mineral fuels including oil, up 41.8%. Trailing were Chinese imports of machinery including computers via a 19.4% gain.

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.

Electronics

In 2016, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics:

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$228.6 billion (up 89.3%)
  2. Phone system devices including smartphones: $46 billion (up 140.9%)
  3. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $28 billion (up 79.7%)
  4. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $14.2 billion (up 57.5%)
  5. Electrical converters/power units: $10.8 billion (up 25.1%)
  6. Printed circuits: $10.4 billion (up 9.4%)
  7. TV/radio/radar device parts: $9.4 billion (up 50.2%)
  8. Electrical capacitators: $8.1 billion (up 32.9%)
  9. TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras: $5.9 billion (up 82.7%)
  10. Unrecorded sound media: $5.1 billion (down -0.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Chinese purchases of integrated circuits or microassemblies (up 89.3%), phone system devices including smartphones (up 140.9%) and solar power diodes or semi-conductors (up 79.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

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 2016, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Crude oil: US$116.2 billion (up 30.2%)
  2. Petroleum gases: $23 billion (up 582.1%)
  3. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $11.5 billion (up 8.6%)
  4. Processed petroleum oils: $11.1 billion (down -34.5%)
  5. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $8.6 billion (up 586.1%)
  6. Lignite: $2.6 billion (up 698.1%)
  7. Petroleum oil residues: $1.4 billion (down -9.5%)
  8. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $871.2 million (up 379.4%)
  9. Electrical energy: $319.8 million (up 2.6%)
  10. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $120.4 million (up 123.9%)

Among these import subcategories, Chinese purchases of lignite (up 698.1%), high-temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 586.1%) and petroleum gases (up 582.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

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 2016, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$25.8 billion (up 18.7%)
  2. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $14.1 billion (up 195.4%)
  3. Computer parts, accessories: $13.3 billion (down -2.6%)
  4. Miscellaneous machinery: $9.5 billion (up 60.4%)
  5. Printing machinery: $7.3 billion (up 3.4%)
  6. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $7 billion (up 37%)
  7. Turbo-jets: $5.7 billion (up 154.8%)
  8. Air or vacuum pumps: $4.9 billion (up 6%)
  9. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $4.6 billion (up 20.4%)
  10. Liquid pumps and elevators: $4 billion (up 23.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Chinese purchases of machinery for making semi-conductors (up 195.4%), turbo-jets (up 154.8%) and miscellaneous machinery (up 60.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

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 2016, Chinese importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of ores:

  1. Iron ores, concentrates: US$57.1 billion (up 13.9%)
  2. Copper ores, concentrates: $20.6 billion (up 142.6%)
  3. Precious metal ores, concentrates: $2.6 billion (up 804.7%)
  4. Aluminum ores, concentrates: $2.5 billion (up 258.4%)
  5. Manganese ores, concentrates: $2.1 billion (up 16.5%)
  6. Chromium ores, concentrates: $1.6 billion (up 23.6%)
  7. Nickel ores, concentrates: $1.5 billion (up 44.5%)
  8. Lead ores, concentrates: $1.5 billion (down -15.1%)
  9. Zinc ores, concentrates: $1.3 billion (down -33.4%)
  10. Tin ores, concentrates: $814.6 million (up 2096.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Chinese purchases of tin ores (up 2,096%), precious metal ores (up 804.7%) and aluminum ores (up 258.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

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 March 31, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 31, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 31, 2017