China’s trading relationship with Africa – 2016
China has become by far Africa’s biggest trading partner, exchanging about US$175 billion worth of goods in 2015. Exports are relatively equally distributed across the different RECs, showing an upward trend over the 2006-2015 period and significant growth in exports to COMESA, SADC and ECOWAS.
China’s thirst for raw materials is clearly shown by the profile of its top 10 suppliers from Africa who are all major suppliers of natural resource-based products, such as oil, iron ore, and copper.
As the Chinese economy moves from a 7% growth rate annually towards a projected 4.6% growth by 2030, it will require less imports to fuel its domestic manufacturing production. This could in turn disproportionately impact African exporters of commodities, raw materials and oil.