Also making the list were two companies each from the iron and steel, diversified metals and heavy equipment industries.
In the analysis below, we compare the top 10 export businesses based on asset values, sales and profitability. Also specified is the Chinese city where each conglomerate has its headquarters.
China’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Below are China’s biggest export companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each company operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of May 2016 compared to 2015.
- PetroChina (oil, gas): US$368.7 billion, down -4.7% from 2015
- Sinopec-China Petroleum (oil, gas): $223.7 billion, down -2.1%
- China Shenhua Energy (diversified metals): $85.3 billion, up 6.1%
- SAIC Motor (car/truck makers): $78.8 billion, up 39.7%
- Fosun International (iron, steel): $62.4 billion, up 106.7%
- China National Building (construction materials): $50.8 billion, up 5.4%
- CSR (heavy equipment): $48 billion, up 152.6%
- China Coal Energy (diversified metals): $39.6 billion, up 11.5%
- Baoshan Iron & Steel (iron, steel): $36.1 billion, down -3.4%
- China Shipbuilding Industry (heavy equipment): $32.8 billion, up 14.5%
Heavy equipment maker CSR posted the fastest increase in assets, up 152.6% from 2015. In second place was iron and steel conglomerate Fosun International (up 106.7%), followed by vehicle manufacturer SAIC Motor (up 39.7%).
Sinopec-China Petroleum may be smaller than PetroChina in terms of asset value, nevertheless the number two Chinese export company outpaced its larger rival in terms of sales volume as of May 2016.
- Sinopec-China Petroleum: US $283.6 billion, down -36.3% from 2015
- PetroChina: $274.6 billion, down -16.4%
- SAIC Motor: $101.9 billion, up 15.4%
- CSR: $38.2 billion, up 170.8%
- China Shenhua Energy: $27.3 billion, down -36.3%
- Baoshan Iron & Steel: $26 billion, down -15.5%
- China National Building: $16 billion, down -16.9%
- Fosun International: $12.5 billion, up 50.7%
- China Shipbuilding Industry: $9.8 billion, up 23.7%
- China Coal Energy: $9.2 billion, down -30.3%
- Aluminum Corp of China: $19.6 billion, down -30.2%
Heavy equipment maker CSR posted the fastest increase in sales, up 170.8% from 2015. In second place was iron and steel conglomerate Fosun International (up 50.7%), followed by another heavy equipment manufacturer China Shipbuilding Industry (up 23.7%).
Deteriorating oil prices and the slowing global economy partially explain why 7 of China’s top 10 export companies posted deteriorating profitability in the most recent period as of May 2016.
- PetroChina: US$5.7 billion, down -73% from 2015
- Sinopec-China Petroleum: $5.1 billion, down -53%
- SAIC Motor: $4.6 billion, up 15.5%
- China Shenhua Energy: $2.6 billion, down -64%
- CSR: $1.9 billion, up 213.3%
- Fosun International: $1.3 billion, up 42.2%
- China National Building: $163.2 million, down -81.9%
- Baoshan Iron & Steel: $161.1 million, down -77%
- China Coal Energy: -$400.3 million, down -157.2%
- China Shipbuilding Industry: -$584 million, down -246%
Heavy equipment maker China Shipbuilding Industry posted a -$584 million loss which represents a -246% deterioration since 2015. Similarly, China Coal Energy’s -$400.3 million setback results from a -157.2% decline.
Seven of the 10 largest Chinese export companies are based in Beijing, the capital city for the People’s Republic of China. The other three conglomerates have their headquarters in Shanghai.
- PetroChina: Beijing
- Sinopec-China Petroleum: Beijing
- China Shenhua Energy: Beijing
- SAIC Motor: Shanghai
- Fosun International: Shanghai
- China National Building: Beijing
- CSR: Beijing
- China Coal Energy: Beijing
- Baoshan Iron & Steel: Shanghai
- China Shipbuilding Industry: Beijing
Note some of the above company offerings may include products beyond the principal category shown within parenthesis under the Assets tab.
For example, China Coal Energy not only produces coal, but also manufactures coal-based chemicals and coal-mining equipment and is involved in power generation. Similarly, the biggest Chinese business PetroChina is well-known for supplying crude oil and natural gas but also refines petroleum products, creates chemical goods and transports natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum.
See also China’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value Chinese Export Products, Largest Oil and Gas Export Companies and Top Chinese Trade Balances
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 individual company profiles, Example of largest China-based export company compiled for this study: PetroChina. Accessed on July 7, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 7, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 7, 2016
Wikipedia, List of largest Chinese companies. Accessed on July 7, 2016