China Has Bought Only a Third of U.S. Goods Required by Trade Deal
Shipping containers and gantry cranes at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg)

China Has Bought Only a Third of U.S. Goods Required by Trade Deal

China is well behind on the two-year targets set in its trade deal with the U.S., having purchased only about a third of the goods it said it would buy so far.

Total purchases of U.S. agricultural, manufactured, and energy goods were $123 billion in the 14 months since the trade deal was signed in January 2020, according to Bloomberg analysis of official Chinese data. That was 32.6% of the target of $378 billion for 2020-21.

China Has Bought Only a Third of U.S. Goods Required by Trade Deal

There was widespread skepticism that China would ever meet the promised targets, even before the pandemic broke out, damaging both demand and the U.S.’s ability to supply goods. However, it’s unclear if China will face any repercussions from the U.S. for failing to meet its goals.

Although China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said trade was discussed by officials during recent talks between the two nations in Alaska, there was no specific mention of the trade deal or what both sides would do with the tariffs imposed during their dispute.

China has been raising imports of U.S. farm goods since late last year, as it seeks to feed its recovering pig herd and make up for shortages of commodities.

2-YearFeb.Jan.Full Year
Unit: Million U.S. DollarTotal202120212020
Target378,383.46206,341.73172,041.73
Progress (%)32.60%11.37%6.18%58.06%
Manufactured products (YTD)78,076.96*11,553.096,236.4566,523.87
Target232,632.55122,266.27110,366.27
1. Industrial Machinery19,747.811,429.521,500.1916,818.10
2. Electrical equipment and machinery7,713.46419.72583.686,710.06
3. Pharmaceutical products5,777.78395.65446.344,935.79
4. Aircraft2,312.220.12288.212,023.89
5. Vehicles10,502.82757.251,106.648,638.93
6. Optical and medical instruments5,652.88360.72387.664,904.50
7. Iron and steel677.5236.4235.44605.66
8. Other manufactured goods25,692.461,917.251,888.2821,886.93
Electronic integrated circuits16,732.741,292.021,218.3914,222.33
Agricultural products (YTD)32,299.28*8,734.444,863.5623,564.84
Target80,172.7443,586.3736,586.37
9. Oilseed (Soybean)16,238.622,565.563,038.4410,634.63
10. Meat3,699.77244.38324.703,130.69
Pork1,825.7685.38103.701,636.68
11. Cereals3,510.59484.22570.632,455.74
12. Cotton2,117.16229.92282.561,604.68
13. Other agricultural commodities5,848.67297.26590.904,960.51
14. Seafood884.4649.5556.32778.59
Energy products (YTD)12,959.23*3,165.391,651.459,793.83
Target65,578.1740,489.0825,089.08
15. Liquefied natural gas1,873.99389.08381.261,103.65
16. Crude Oil7,608.21563.47767.576,277.17
17. Refined products3,281.23521.14459.892,300.20
18. Coal195.7840.2442.72112.82

Note 2: Monthly services data are not available from China authorities.

Note 3: (*) Indicates actual purchases made from 2020 through end-Feb. this year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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