China's global market share surges despite "decoupling" concerns: UK think tank
4 Aug 2021


China's global market share has risen substantially in the past two years, defying calls for a "decoupling from China" mainly by the United States, British think tank Oxford Economics said in a report released Tuesday.


"A broader analysis of China's global market share trends suggests that its recent rise is driven by gains in developed countries, due in part to the specific nature of the recent expansion of global trade," said the report, generated by Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at the think tank.


The report said while this implies that some of the recent jump in China's share of the global trade pie will revert, the strong showing of China's exports to developed countries "confirms that there has been little decoupling thus far."


The analysis showed the gains in developed nations partly came from the recent increase in demand for imports, fuelled by a temporary shift from services consumption to goods consumption and a surge in work-from-home demand.


"In any case, China's strong export performance since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic underscores that the global supply chains developed in recent decades -- and in which China plays a key role -- are much 'stickier' than many suspected," said Kuijs.


China's official data in July showed that the world's second largest economy's foreign trade surged by 27.1 percent year on year to 18.07 trillion yuan (about 2.79 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year 2021, the best performance in history.


In June alone, the country's imports and exports mounted by 22 percent year on year to 3.29 trillion yuan (about 0.5 trillion U.S. dollars), marking an increase for the 13th month in a row, according to the General Administration of Customs of China.


The report said the export strength reflected less transitory factors, stressing that "a supportive government has also helped."


"In its efforts to 'defend (the country's) role in global supply chains', China's government took measures ranging from cutting fees to helping logistically to get goods to the ports, thus ensuring the availability of products at a time when global supply chains have been under strain," said Kuijs.


Responding to these developments, the think tank again adjusted its long-term outlook in early 2021, becoming less bearish on economic decoupling, said the report.


"Our global colleagues recently also concluded that, while the U.S. tariffs have depressed U.S. imports from China, there is no evidence so far of a broader decoupling process among developed countries," added Kuijs.


According to China's official data, the trade with its top three trading partners -- the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, and the United States -- maintained sound growth in the first half of year 2021, with the growth rates of trade value with the three standing at 27.8 percent, 26.7 percent and 34.6 percent, respectively. 


Source: Xinhua