Highest Value Chinese Import Products

Yuan paid for Chinese imports

Highest value Chinese import products

Integrated electronic circuits, crude oil, iron ores, smartphones and cars were among the 20 highest value Chinese import products in 2016.

The most valuable Chinese imports also include liquid crystal, laser and optical tools, automotive parts and solar power diodes. Copper is one area where resource-rich China’s domestic supply lags demand, which explains why both refined copper as well as raw copper ores and concentrates appear on the top 20 list.

The following list shows on which product categories Chinese importers spent the most. Unlike most information currently available on the web, the items below are detailed at the 4-digit tariff code level.

This of granularity can help entrepreneurs identify more precisely which products in which the People’s Republic has strong demand but competitive disadvantages compared with other nations. Innovation can transform these disadvantages into lucrative business opportunities.

China is the world’s number two importer behind the United States, although the gap is decreasing.

Highest Value Chinese Import Products

Below are the 20 highest value import products delivered to Chinese importers in 2016. Shown within brackets for each item is the percentage change in value since 2009.

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$228.6 billion (Up 89.3% from 2009 to 2016)
  2. Crude oil: $116.2 billion (Up 30.2%)
  3. Iron ores, concentrates: $57.1 billion (Up 13.9%)
  4. Phone system devices: $46 billion (Up 140.9%)
  5. Cars: $44 billion (Up 206.2%)
  6. Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools: $38.1 billion (Down -0.5%)
  7. Soya beans: $34 billion (Up 80.8%)
  8. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $28 billion (Up 79.7%)
  9. Computers, optical readers: $25.8 billion (Up 18.7%)
  10. Automobile parts/accessories: $25.5 billion (Up 105.4%)
  11. Petroleum gases: $23 billion (Up 582.1%)
  12. Copper ores, concentrates: $20.6 billion (Up 142.6%)
  13. Aircraft, spacecraft: $20.4 billion (Up 119.5%)
  14. Refined copper, unwrought alloys: $18.1 billion (Up 13.7%)
  15. Cyclic hydrocarbons: $15.6 billion (Up 84.7%)
  16. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $14.2 billion (Up 57.5%)
  17. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $14.1 billion (Up 195.4%)
  18. Medication mixes in dosage: $14.1 billion (Up 197.8%)
  19. Ethylene polymers: $14 billion (Up 50.6%)
  20. Computer parts, accessories: $13.3 billion (Down -2.6%)

Among these product categories, petroleum gases posted the greatest increase in import purchases via a 582.1% gain.

In second place were imported cars which improved 206.2% from 2009 to 2016.

Chinese imports of packaged medicines also showed an impressive gain in 2016 up 197.8% since 2009, followed by machinery for making semi-conductors (up 195.4%).

Two top categories declined in value, namely computer parts or accessories (down -2.6%) and liquid crystal, laser or optical tools (down -0.5%).

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

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 31, 2017

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 31, 2017

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