Evolution of China's Export Profile Since the Early 1990s

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China is now the world's leading exporting nation, yet how has its exporting profile changed over time? 

China Export Growth.png
Collecting the cumulative annual growth rate and share of total exports in the period 1992-2008, with the bubble size representing the value of exports in 2008, the chart above illustrates just how China has moved up the value chain since the early 1990s. This is evident in the rapid growth of machinery and electronic exports, which are way out in front in terms of annual growth and as a share of total exports. Low value added commodities like apparel, toys and games, and footwear, on the other hand, have inversely grown sluggishly. Interestingly, however, exports of rubber, aluminium, ship structures and autos have grown at annual rates in excess of 20%, yet have been overshadowed as a share of total exports by machinery and electronics.  

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there is an interesting article from Mckinsey Quarterly that also supports this conclusions. The article is rather about the fact that China's growth depends less on exports that what is usually assumed, but it also states that the profile of production & exports in moving towards more added-value (rather than just assembling)and that it will end up competing more directly with higher-priced goods from more developed nations.


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