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Asia Economy Last Updated: Oct 7, 2010 - 9:16:34 AM

EU-China Summit: EU27 exports to China in H1 2010 rose 43%; Germany accounted for almost 50% of total; Ireland had trade surplus
By Finfacts Team
Oct 6, 2010 - 4:36:46 AM

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a speech during an inspection with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at the Piraeus Container Terminal, which is operated by China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) in Greece, Oct. 02, 2010. Photo: Xinhua

The 13th European Union - China summit, takes place today in Brussels and Eurostat, the statistics office of the EU has issued data on trade and investments between China and the EU to coincide with the event. Exports from the EU27 rose 43% in H1 2010 and Germany accounted for almost half the total. Ireland exported €824m in goods in H1 2010 and imported €772m giving a surplus of €52m.

Irish exports to China accounted for 1.9% of total Irish merchandise exports in H1 and about 94% of the total would have been exported from foreign firms in Ireland.

Between 2000 and 2009, EU27 trade in goods with China tripled in value. EU27 exports to China rose steadily from €26bn in 2000 to €82bn in 2009, while imports rose from €75bn in 2000 to a peak of €248bn in 2008 and then fell to €215bn in 2009. As a result, the EU27 trade deficit with China increased significantly, from €49bn in 2000 to €170bn in 2008 and then dropped to €133bn in 2009. The data for the first half of 2010 show a strong growth in EU27 trade with China. EU27 exports to China increased from €37bn in the first half of 2009 to €53bn in the first half of 2010 and imports rose from €103bn to 125bn. The trade deficit grew from €65bn to €71bn.

In the first half of 2010, China was the EU27's second most important trading partner after the US, accounting for 8.5% of EU27 exports and 17.8% of EU27 imports.

Germany responsible for almost half of EU27 exports to China and nearly a quarter of EU27 imports

Among the EU27 member states, Germany (€25bn or 47% of EU exports) was by far the largest exporter to China in the first half of 2010, followed by France (€5bn or 10%) and Italy (€4bn or 8%). Germany (€29bn or 23% of EU imports) was also the largest importer, followed by the Netherlands* (€21bn or 17%), the United Kingdom (€17bn or 13%) and Italy (€12bn or 10%).

All member states registered deficits in trade with China in the first half of 2010, except for Ireland and Finland (both +€0.1bn). The largest deficits were observed in the Netherlands2 (-€19bn), the United Kingdom (-€13bn), Italy (-€8bn), Spain (-€6bn) and France (-€5bn).

More than 60% of EU27 exports to China in the first half of 2010 were machinery and vehicles and one sixth were other manufactured articles, while these two groups accounted for more than 90% of imports. At the detailed level, the main EU27 exports to China included motor cars and aircraft, while the main imports included computers and parts and mobile phones.

EU27 surplus of €5.3bn in trade in services with China in 2009

In 2009, the EU27 exported €18.5bn of services to China, while imports from China amounted to €13.2bn, meaning that the EU27 had a surplus of €5.3bn in trade in services with China, compared with +€2.6bn in 2007 and +5.1bn in 2008. The surplus in 2009 was mainly due to other business services (+€2.6bn) and royalties & license fees (+€1.6bn). China accounted for over 3% of total extra-EU27 trade in services.

EU27 net investor in China

EU27 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into China was €5.3bn in 2009, compared with €6.7bn in 2006, €6.6bn in 2007 and €4.7bn in 2008, while Chinese direct investment into the EU27 stood at €0.3bn in 2009, compared with 2.2bn in 2006, 0.8bn in 2007 and a disinvestment of €0.1bn in 2008.

Tables (pdf)

*Eurostat says Dutch imports and therefore the trade deficit are over-estimated because of the "Rotterdam effect" where goods destined for the rest of the EU arrive and are recorded in harmonised EU external trade statistics in Dutch ports. This then has a positive effect on the external trade balances with China of those Member States to which the goods are re-exported as these shipments would be recorded as intra-EU trade with the Netherlands rather than extra-EU trade with China. To a lesser extent, Belgian trade figures are similarly over-estimated

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