China purchases of U.S. exports in the category that includes immunological medicines have surged … [+] since 2019. The category also includes vaccines, plasma and other blood fractions.
China broke the annual record for U.S. exports of immunological medicines, plasma and other blood “fractions” by one country in just the first eight months of 2022.
That’s just five years after its total annual purchases topped 5% for the first time. Through August of this year, that $4.25 billion total accounts for 14.72% of the total for what is the ninth most valuable U. S. export, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data. The percentage was 19% in August alone.
No U.S. gateway has benefitted like Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which is accounting for more than half of those exports, which are largely immunological medicines for retail sale.
Miami International Airport and Atlanta International Airport are second and third, respectively, accounting for another 23% combined.
O’Hare International has seen significant growth in exports to China in the category. With Miami … [+] International and Atlanta International, the three account for about 75 % of the total.
This post is the ninth in a series of columns about the United States’ exports.
It follows similar series I did for the countries that were, at the time, the nation’s top 10 trade partners and one for the airports, seaports and border crossings that were, at the time, the nation’s top 10 “ports.”
The first article in this series focused on an overview of the top 10 exports. The second looked at the top 10 countries that are markets for U.S. exports and how they differ from our overall trade partners, which would include imports.
The third was about refined petroleum, the top export; followed by one on oil, which ranks second; natural gas, which includes LNG and ranks third; the primary commercial jet category, which ranks fourth; passenger vehicles, at No. 5; and computer chips, which ranked sixth as the series. Gold, a volatile commodity, has supplanted it since.
(In addition, I intentionally excluded the “low-value” category — largely e-commerce and other courier shipments, which had ranked fifth — because there is little available and meaningful Census data released.)
The 10th through 12th articles will look at what were No. 8 motor vehicle parts, No. 9 medicines in pill form, and No. 10 medical instruments, though all three have slipped one after gold’s ascent.
Getting back to the focus on this post, the record total shipped to China through August dwarfed a 13-year-old record, those shipped to Germany through August of 2009, by more than $1 billion, almost 33%.
It was the next year, 2010, that China for only the first time accounted for more than 1% of all U.S. exports in this category. This year will be the first it will top 10%.
Since August of 2017, exports to China have grown 557%, more than five times the rate for overall U.S. exports in this category, which have increased 111%. Overall U.S. exports are up 35.48% in that time.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, is the third-largest destination for overall U.S. exports, though well behind Mexico and Canada.
While the lengthy trade war with China, begun by former President Donald Trump and continued by President Biden, hasn’t put the brakes on U.S. exports of what are largely immunological drugs, the results are mixed for a number of other important exports.
Looking at what is currently the United States’ most valuable export, China was the largest buyer in 2017, prior to the trade war, but after its onset, fell quickly, to seventh in 2019. This year, through August, it ranks No. 8.
Refined petroleum, the United States’ second-ranked export after oil this year, has fallen to China by more than 72% over the last five years.
U.S. natural gas, the nation’s third most valuable export, has increased more than 360% to the world, but “only” doubled to China in the last five years. China has fallen from the United States’ fourth-ranked trade partner to No. 8 this year.
With the what is now the eighth-largest U.S. export, computer chips, China ranked second through August of 2017 and ranks second this year as well, with an increase of better than 100% in value in that time. U.S. exports have increased less, 38.80%.
But with the export category that includes not only immunological medicines but also vaccines, plasma, antisera, white-blood cells and other blood fractions, it has been straight up.