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China’s trade deficit with Portuguese-speaking countries swells to US$74 billion

With notable exceptions, trade between China and most Portuguese-speaking countries fell in 2023, figures show.

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UPDATED: 29 Jan 2024, 7:41 am

If treated as a single economic bloc, Portuguese-speaking countries registered 6.2 percent year-on-year growth in exports to China in 2023, posting a record full-year tally of US$147.5 billion.

However, the performance was largely due to Brazil, according to figures from Forum Macao, which accounted for an unprecedented US$122.4 billion in sales to China, up nearly 12 percent from the previous year. China is Brazil’s top trade partner.

Mozambique also set a new record, with its China trade up almost 34 percent to US$1.79 billion, and Cabo Verde also improved on its 2022 figures, with the tiny archipelago managing to sell US$72,000 worth of goods to China last year.

[See more: Brazil and China break trade records in 2023]

However, most lusophone nations saw their exports to China dip in 2023, with the smallest nations – Guinea-Bissau (-40.2 percent), Timor-Leste (-48.7 percent) and São Tomé (-53.8 percent) – experiencing the most significant drops. Angola (-18.7 percent) took the biggest hit of the larger nations, while Portugal (-4.1 percent) and Equatorial Guinea (-9.4 percent) saw more modest declines.

Total trade between Portuguese-speaking countries totalled US$220.9 billion, with China experiencing a record trade deficit of US$74.1 billion with the nine-nation group.

Chinese exports dropped 3.5 percent to US$73.4 billion, around 80 percent of which went to Brazil, which purchased US$59.1 billion, followed by Portugal with a more modest US$5.79 billion.

UPDATED: 29 Jan 2024, 7:41 am

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