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European Commission | China’s trade in non-food raw materials

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ABSTRACT - This report is a factsheet developed as part of a series of country-level trade fiches feeding into a module of the Raw Materials Information System (RMIS) dedicated to the analysis of raw materials in the context of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and its impact on the EU's strategic dependencies. It provides a data-based overview of China’s trade in primary, processed and secondary non-food materials, focusing on its trade relations with the EU.
The novelty is the product coverage, which we have defined by allocating the trade flows available in the COMTRADE database at the HS 6-digit level to a Material/Product aggregate sorted out of the downstream commodities and corresponding to the broad categories of Abiotic, Biotic and Energy.
Despite the fact that China is a leading global producer of many raw materials, including critical raw materials (CRMs), it is a net importer of raw materials. For China, as reported in COMTRADE database (i.e. excluding Taiwan and Hong Kong), the exports of non-food raw materials (excluding downstream) made up only 6 % of country’s total exports of goods and they were mainly directed towards Asian countries.
For the EU, China was an important sourcing country for many CRMs. The EU is capturing relatively important shares of China’s exports of two Standard Product Groups: Metals (12 %) and Chemicals (16 %).



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