China’s trade has been hit severely since the outbreak of the coronavirus. January and February 2020 was the period that the COVID-19 was peaking in China and the government’s containment measures slowed down or even ceased activities. Business activity turned negative, as shipping, construction, retail and factory output plunged. Unemployment in urban areas reached a new record high of 6.2% in February, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced, climbing up from 5.3% in January.
The world’s second economy has to deal with the additional pressure from the virus’ spread overseas and its impacts on global economy, making it even more difficult for the country to boost the highly impacted bilateral trade with other Asian or European countries. According to the General Administration of China’s Customs, in January-February 2020 together, exports from China tumbled 17.2% year-on-year to $ 292.45 billion. Only in January 2020, Chinese exports slipped down for 39% compared to December 2019.
What about marble trade, as China is the major exporter of finished marble products in the world? Stonenews.eu, after collecting, studying and editing the statistical data provided by the General Customs Administration of China, is presenting the country’s finished marble products exports growth per province in January and February 2020 combined, compared to the same period of 2019, both in value and quantity of exports.
As seen at the table above, the provinces with the greatest loss in export value were Ningxia Hui A.R. (-100%), Chongqing (-97.79%), Yunnan (-94.26%), Hunan (-90.71%) and Hubei (-82.77%). Ningxia Hui A.R. is the autonomous region for the Hui people, the Chinese muslims, an area with considerable deposits of quartz. This province recorded 100% downfall in quantity of exports as well, which means that marble export trade was aborted. Chongqing is a megacity in southwest China, far away from the coastline but along the riverbanks of the Jialing River that feeds into the Yangtze River. Here, quantity of exports was relative to the export value decrease. Same case reported for Yunnan, a mountainous area in southwest China, known for its wealth in mineral resources. Mining is the leading industry in this province. Hunan is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River, neighboring with the provinces of Chongqing and Hubei, which was the center of COVID-19 outbreak. Chongqing and Hunan were among the ten provinces that have reported the highest number of confirmed cases outside Hubei.
On the other hand, the provinces with the largest increase in finished marble products exports value in January-February 2020 together year-on-year were Heilongjiang (251.24%), Tianjin (112.33%) and Guangdong (98.93%), followed by great numbers in quantity of exports as well. Heilongjiang is located in northeast China, bordered to Russia, making it an important gateway for trade with the country. Tianjin features the world’s top-level and China’s largest artificial deep water harbor, the fifth in the world throughout capacity. Guangdong, finally, is another coastal province, the most populous one, located in south China. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 6th largest sub-national economy in the world with a GDP size of 1.47 trillion US dollars (9.73 trillion Chinese yuan) in 2018.
Growth is not the most indicative measure of significance in the country’s marble export trade. The following chart shows the share of the most active Chinese provinces in finished marble products export in value and quantity of exports.
*Due to consistent data flow, statistics may alter during the year