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US export figures show China no longer 'a developing nation'

LATEST statistics from the US Census Bureau, through July, show that American exports to China this year are tilting heavily in favour of high-value products from the more traditional lower-value ones

US export figures show China no longer 'a developing nation'

LATEST statistics from the US Census Bureau, through July, show that American exports to China this year are tilting heavily in favour of high-value products from the more traditional lower-value ones

10 October 2019 - 19:00

LATEST statistics from the US Census Bureau, through July, show that American exports to China this year are tilting heavily in favour of high-value products from the more traditional lower-value ones.

This year, for the first time in at least 15 years and perhaps ever, the percentage of exports bound for China is near parity, at 52.92 per cent by ocean and the remainder by air.



That's because US exports to China over the water are down almost 30 per cent this year while those over the clouds are up more than 5 per cent.



As recently as 2015, for the same time period, the value of ocean-going exports to China was double that of air-bound exports, accounting for 67.27 per cent of the total.



In fact, for nine of the last 16 years - shortly after China was admitted to the World Trade Organization - that has been the case, including four years where the percentage of ocean-going freight topped 70 per cent of the total by value and air-bound freight fell below 30 per cent.



Not all of the change is related to the trade war, according to Forbes.



Some of it is due to the incredible quarter-century forward mark of China's economy, which of course has given birth to one of the primary complaints of not only the Trump Administration but many China-watchers.



China is now more interested in cellular technology equipment as it builds out its cellular network and focus on next-generation 5-G technology; pharmaceuticals as it moves toward developed-world health care; and make-up, because its people can afford it.



Computer chip exports to China, more than 99 per cent of which fly, are up 55.81 per cent this year. Exports of vaccines, plasma and other blood 'fractions,' such as white and red blood cells and platelets, are up 157.64 per cent this year. More than 97 per cent of these exports fly.



Exports in the main category of medicines in pill form are up 25.64 per cent. Just under three-quarters of all these exports fly, by value and exports of medical devices, everything from expensive MRI machines to surgical needles, are up 21.98 per cent. Almost 93 per cent fly.



Furthermore, makeup exports are doing well also. Exports by air have increased almost 50 per cent, though only 62 per cent fly. (Exports that sail have increased at less than half the rate.)



On the ocean-side, China is less interested in agricultural exports, such as soybeans, and oil - largely to poke President Trump in the eye - cotton for apparel, part of a years-old shift from lower-level to higher-level manufacturing; and recycled or waste products, such as those from paper, plastic and numerous metals.


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