According to figures released by China’s General Administration of Customs, trade between China and Africa dropped by around $41 billion which equates to 14 percent during the first quarter of 2020.
Chinese exports to Africa took a severe hit as exports by 10.5 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year.
Much of China was in a state of lockdown during the first quarter and the superpower dealt with the Covid-19 virus. However, since then the virus has spread throughout the world and pushed the global economy into recession.
During the first quarter of 2020, the Chinese economy also shrunk by 6.8 percent.
Even though China is Africa’s largest trading partner, China-bound exports from Africa also slowed by 17.5 percent.
Due to the pandemic, major industries were shut down in China completely. Countries around the globe, including African nations, have also shut down airlines to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Prior to the pandemic, trade volume between China and Africa has been increasing exponentially, reaching $185 billion in 2018, up from $155 billion in 2017.
Hannah Ryder, chief executive at Beijing-based Development Reimagined told the media, “Different African countries have varied trade relationships with China. But the response to Covid-19 must be the same – to “upgrade” trade relationships with China.”
Two of the biggest economies in Africa- Nigeria and South Africa, have also called for national lockdown as positive coronavirus cases in Africa rises to around 25,000.
Even though China has recovered from its epidemic, industries are finally coming back to business. However, despite that, trade between China and Africa is expected to further slump in the coming months as new cases continue to rise in other parts of the world.