Views and Insights

Toys, Mobile Phones & Soybeans

Toys, Mobile Phones & Soybeans

With Donald Trump officially inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America, trade relations with China may be about to get serious.

In 2015, imports from China accounted for 21% of the total imports by the US,[1] while exports to the US contributed 18% of China’s total exports.[2]  Conversely, exports to China in the same year contributed 8% of the total exports by the US,[3] while US imports amounted to 9% of China’s total imports.[4]

The following table compiled by the Evercore ISI research group highlights some interesting observations.  In eight of the top 10 categories of US imports from China (electronics, toys, apparel and other consumer products), 50% or more of the goods sold in the US are sourced from China.  Cheap mobile phones may be hard to come by for US consumers if supplies from China are constricted.  On the other hand, US farmers and producers of soybeans, barley and oats may be easy targets should China decide to retaliate, as the majority of US production of these crops have been headed for the Chinese market.

Who do you think will come off worse in a trade war?  The question, of course, relates to the first-order effects rather than the full implications globally.

Rank

US Imports from China 2015

US Exports to China 2015

Product Category

US$ (mil)

% in Total

% of US

Product Category

US$ (mil)

% in Total

% of US

 

Total

483,245

100.0%

21%

Total

116,072

100.0%

8%

1

Cell phones and other household goods

64,646

13.4%

65%

Civilian aircraft and all parts

15,440

13.3%

13%

2

Computers

43,804

9.1%

69%

Soybeans

10,528

9.1%

53%

3

Computer accessories

30,427

6.3%

53%

Passenger cars, new and used

9,115

7.9%

17%

4

Toys, games, and sporting goods

27,573

5.7%

76%

Semiconductors

5,976

5.1%

14%

5

Telecommunications equipment

27,090

5.6%

41%

Industrial machines, other

4,483

3.9%

8%

6

Apparel, textiles, non-wool or cotton

24,615

5.1%

50%

Plastic materials

3,562

3.1%

10%

7

Furniture, household goods, etc.

17,876

3.7%

56%

Pulpwood and woodpulp

3,425

3.0%

39%

8

Other parts and accessories of vehicles

14,869

3.1%

14%

Medicinal equipment

2,889

2.5%

8%

9

Household appliances

14,229

2.9%

53%

Measuring, testing, control instruments

2,638

2.3%

11%

10

Footwear

14,181

2.9%

68%

Chemicals-other

2,451

2.1%

8%

11

Apparel, household goods – cotton

14,128

2.9%

30%

Chemicals-organic

2,223

1.9%

7%

12

Electric apparatus

13,675

2.8%

28%

Electric apparatus

2,156

1.9%

5%

13

Televisions and video equipment

10,657

2.2%

38%

Cell phones and other household goods

2,149

1.9%

9%

14

Industrial machines, other

9,079

1.9%

18%

Sorghum, barley, oats

2,117

1.8%

89%

15

Photo, service industry machinery

8,239

1.7%

42%

Pharmaceutical preparations

2,094

1.8%

4%

16

Semiconductors

8,063

1.7%

18%

Logs and lumber

2,007

1.7%

34%

17

Industrial supplies, other

7,839

1.6%

25%

Copper

1,942

1.7%

27%

18

Cookware, cutlery, tools

6,712

1.4%

71%

Telecommunications equipment

1,898

1.6%

5%

19

Generators, accessories

6,517

1.3%

28%

Other parts and accessories of vehicles

1,868

1.6%

3%

20

Apparel, household goods – non-textile

5,831

1.2%

60%

Other industrial supplies

1,804

1.6%

7%

 

All Other

113,193

23.4%

 

All Other

35,305

30.4%

 

Source: US Census Bureau, EVRISI Calculations



[1] Calculation based on data from the US Census Bureau.

[2] Calculation based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

[3] Calculation based on data from the US Census Bureau.

[4] Calculation based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China.

DISCLAIMER: The above information is commentary only (i.e. our general thoughts).  It is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, investment advice.  To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information.  Before making any investment decision you need to consider (with your financial adviser) your particular investment needs, objectives and circumstances.