EU Trade Deficit With China Fell by EUR 106 billion in 2023

by: Jessica Ferreira

The EU’s trade deficit in goods with China fell sharply in 2023, by EUR 106 billion compared to 2022 (-27%), standing at EUR 291 billion.

Although the European Union’s trade deficit with China has increased since 2018, last year saw a significant reduction in imports, making it the second most negative trade deficit in the last decade.

Between 2013 and 2023, the EU’s trade deficit in goods with China ranged from EUR 104 billion in 2013 to EUR 397 billion in 2022, the highest figure of the decade.

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In 2023, China was the largest partner for EU imports of goods (20.5% of total extra-EU imports) and was the third largest partner for EU exports of goods (8.8% of total extra-EU exports).

The most imported goods from China were telecommunications equipment, although this decreased from EUR 63.1 billion in 2022 to EUR 56.3 billion in 2023.

Electrical machinery and apparatus (EUR 36.5 billion) and automatic data processing machines (EUR 36 billion) were the second and third most imported goods, respectively.

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Cars and motor vehicles saw the biggest increase in imports (EUR 3.5 billion; 36.7% more than in 2022), while organo-inorganic compounds and the like, which are used as catalysts in chemical reactions, saw the biggest decrease (- EUR 13 billion; 45.4% less than in 2022).

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