Largest China Import Industry by 2024 - Tendata

tendata blogMarket Insights

ten data blog21-05-2024

As the world's second-largest economy, China plays a pivotal role in global trade. One of the most significant aspects of this role is its extensive import market. While China imports a wide range of products, its largest import industry stands out due to its scale and impact on both domestic and international markets. This article delves into the details of China's largest import industry and its key components.

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1. China Oil & Gas Drilling

Imports in 2024: $640.3B

Revenues from China's oil and gas drilling industry are expected to grow by 12.6% per year over the five years to 2023, but year-on-year growth is volatile. China's slowing economic growth has led to a decline in domestic crude oil prices. As a result, revenues have fluctuated over the five-year period and have shown varying degrees of growth since then, and are projected to grow by 5.6% to $284.1 billion in 2023. Inflation and COVID-19 have exacerbated industry volatility over the past five years. margins recovered to 18.2% in 2023.

2. China IC Manufacturing

2024 Imports: $501.2B

China is the world's largest and fastest-growing IC market and an important producer and supplier of ICs. China's IC manufacturing is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 11.8% over the five years to 2023, reaching $283.3B, maintaining a sustained and steady growth trend over this period. This includes 9.3% growth this year. Revenue growth is being driven by huge demand from end-use markets such as industrial equipment, communication networks, and new energy vehicles. Increasing focus on intellectual property and patents also contributed to revenue growth.

3. Iron Ore Mining in China

2024 Imports: $219.5B

Revenues from China's iron ore mining industry will decline by an annualized 1.7% over the five-year period to 2023, with a 9.2% increase in 2023 to $109.4 billion. There are over 3,400 companies operating in the sector with total employment of 604,225 and total iron ore production of 983.2 million tons in 2023.

4. Engineering Services in China

Import in 2024: $72.9B

China's steady economic growth in recent decades has created a major market for engineering services. Meanwhile, government reforms have facilitated the commercialization of related technologies. In 2022, the engineering services industry generated revenues of US$1.1 billion, an increase of 7.0% from 2021. Revenue growth is expected to be slower than in previous years due to slower growth in the value of building and civil engineering construction during the year. Over the five years to 2022, industry revenue will grow at an annualized rate of 7.5%.

5. China Organic Chemical Materials Manufacturing

2024 Imports: $72.6B

The products of China's organic chemical materials manufacturing industry are widely used in many downstream industries, and the performance of the industry is closely related to the country's economic operation. Over the five years to 2023, industry revenue is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 11.2% to $422.1 billion, including a 6.0% increase in 2023. China's steady economic growth and rising living standards of Chinese residents have boosted demand for chemical products plastics, rubber, synthetic fibers, coatings, etc., and supported demand for organic chemical materials.

6. China Passenger Vehicle Manufacturing

2024 Imports: $57.3B

Over the past five years, revenues from passenger car manufacturing in China are expected to decline by an annualized 1.6% to $617.6 billion, with growth of 1.8% in 2023 alone, while profits are expected to remain relatively stable at 8.5%. As China's income levels rise, road conditions improve, and prices become more competitive, passenger cars are becoming more affordable for Chinese residents. To meet consumer demand, automotive companies have introduced many new models to attract consumers.

7. Automobile Manufacturing in China

2024 Imports: $54.6B

Revenues from the automotive manufacturing sector will grow at a CAGR of 1.5% over the five years to 2023, with 0.7% growth in 2023 alone to reach $763 billion. Growing domestic demand in both urban and rural areas and increased exports are driving the industry's revenue growth.

8. Pulses Cultivation in China

Imports in 2024: $52.0B

China is the world's largest consumer of pulses. Soybeans and other legumes are the main raw material for edible oils and soy products commonly used in the country. China is the world's fourth-largest producer of pulses, with planted area set to reach 127 billion square meters by 2022. Revenue from the legume growing industry will grow at an annualized rate of 7.7% over five years to reach US$25.2 billion by 2023.

9. China Computer Peripheral Manufacturing

2024 Imports: $51.0B

Over the past five years, declining retail prices and intense competition in the industry have led to relatively slow revenue growth and narrowing profit margins. As laptops have become more popular, demand for some computer peripherals has declined. Overall, revenues in the computer peripherals manufacturing industry grew at an annualized rate of 1.8% over the five years to 2022, reaching $252.8 billion.

10. Copper Smelting in China

2024 Imports: $41.8B

China's copper smelting industry revenues grew at an annualized rate of 9.7% to $253 billion over the five years to 2023, including 7.1% growth in the current year. China is the world's largest copper consumer, leading to a widening trade deficit in recent years. In 2023, 16.4% of domestic demand will be met by imports, while exports will account for only 0.9% of total industry revenue. Rising raw material costs are limiting industry profitability. Industry profit margins are low, at 1.3% in 2023.


China's largest import industry, the energy sector, is crucial for sustaining its economic growth and meeting its rising energy demands. The country's heavy reliance on crude oil and natural gas imports has significant implications for global trade, impacting market dynamics, international relations, and environmental strategies. As China continues to evolve, its import patterns in the energy sector will remain a key focus for global economic observers and policymakers.

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