China became Europe’s top trading partner for goods in 2020 – a reflection of the changing global trade landscape amid the pandemic.
The European Union’s statistics service Eurostat recently released international trade data, which showed China’s increased role in trade with Europe. There were increases in imports (+5.6%) and exports (+2.2%) between China and the EU last year, with the overall value of EU-China goods trade reaching USD706 billion.
Meanwhile, Europe’s trade with the US, the biggest trading partner in 2019, dropped significantly in both imports (-13.2%) and exports (-8.2%).
Most of the EU’s main trading partners recorded negative growth in exports and imports, with China notably the only country to have positive growth in both categories. The EU-China trade deficit also rose due to increased EU imports from China.
Screengrab via Eurostat
Daniel Gros, a fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies, noted that the data doesn’t factor in transatlantic trade in services, which is worth USD595 billion a year, as cited by CNN.
In the first quarter of 2020, Southeast Asia overtook Europe as China’s largest trade partner, however, analysts said the EU would likely return to being the biggest trading partner after the pandemic subsides.
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[Cover image via Unsplash]