Exports From Africa to China Grew by 8% and Reached $29.4 Billion in First Quarter of 2024

China-Africa relations have grown significantly over the past few decades, with China becoming one of the major players in the African continent in terms of trade, investment, and infrastructure development.

African countries supplied $29.42 billion worth of goods and services to China in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 8% year-on-year, business agency Ecofin reported on Monday, citing data from the General Administration of Customs of China.

The increase in exports from Africa to China was primarily due to minerals, in particular metals used to produce batteries for electric vehicles, as well as gold, Ecofin noted. Beijing’s incentives to boost trade with Africa, such as the elimination of customs duties on 98% of products imported from more than twenty African countries, also played a significant role.

At the same time, China’s exports to Africa increased by 4.4% in the first quarter to reach $41.4 billion.

Overall, trade between Africa and China has increased by 5.9% year-on-year in the first three months of 2024 to reach $70.86 billion. Chinese exports to African countries mainly consist of finished products, including textiles, clothing, and electronics. In turn, exports from Africa to China are dominated by commodities such as oil, copper, cobalt, and iron ore.

In late December 2023, the Asian giant expanded the list of countries that can import goods into China duty-free, adding six more African countries — Angola, Gambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mali, and Mauritania — in order to embody “the spirit of China-African friendship and cooperation,” as well as to promote the creation of a high-quality China-African community of common destiny, the China’s Customs Tariff commission said.

China’s economic policies in general and this measure in particular have borne fruit pretty quickly: earlier in mid-March, the media reported that trade volume between China and African countries had already exceeded $47 billion in 2024.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has previously said that the goal is to bring total Chinese imports from the African continent to $300 billion a year by 2035.

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