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China’s largest export market is now much closer to home

With our HQ in Hong Kong and our strong office network and portfolio of multiimodal freight and logistics services across South East Asia, the U-Freight Group is intrigued by the news item on the Bloomberg website that China’s largest export market is no longer the USA and Europe, which have been overtaken by Southeast Asia.

Bloomberg reports that shipments from China to the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have soared to nearly USD600 billion a month, based on the 12-month moving averages compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc. That puts the 10-nation bloc well ahead of the USA and European Union, which have seen a steep drop in imports from China in 2023.

Bloomberg reports that HSBC Chief Asia Economist Frederic Neumann believes that the shift has been helped by the Beijing-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which took effect last year to become the world’s largest free-trade bloc, and is also a testament to the reworking of global supply chains: parts sourced from China are increasingly moving to Southeast Asia for final assembly before being exported to the rest of the world.

The stronger linkage between Southeast Asia and China may even help stabilise global trade at a time when demand from developed markets slump, as Asean’s largest export market is also China, where the goods are consumed domestically.

Bloomberg reports that Neumann also said that in short, one of the key trade corridors in Asia, and, indeed, in the world, is now that between the Asean bloc and mainland China.

For more information about our comprehensive portfolio of multimodal freight and logistics services across intra-Asian trade lanes, please contact you local U-Freight office.