Monday, February 25, 2013

Import and Export Trend of Chinese-made Medicine in 1H2012

According to China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products
From January – June 2012, the foreign trade growth rate of Chinese-made Western medicines
(including Chinese-made Western medicines, biochemical medicines and chemical raw
materials) are slowing down. The total of imports and exports of Western medicines was
US$23.6billion, year-on-year increase by 12.11%, the increasing rate decreased in 19.08%,
comparing with 31.19% last year. The exports was approximately US$14billion, increased by
6.55%, the increasing rate dropped 20.5% comparing with same period last year; imports was
approximately US$9.61billion, year-on-year growth maintained at more than 20%.
Comparing with last year is still a far cry, year-on-year growth was 40%. At the same time,
Chinese-made medicines trade surplus narrowed further to US$4.39billion, down 15.89%.

 Trends in Export

About the export market condition from January to June 2012, the slowdown of exports of
Chinese-made medicines in Asia and traditional Europe markets, only 4.85% and 1.63%
respectively; driven by the rose of average export price in North America, rose to 16.97%; the
exports of Oceania and Africa were very attractive, 44.36% and 14.29% respectively.
Although the scale of exports of Chinese-made medicines Oceania and Africa are relatively
small, they have the potential and worth for the attention.
As the export leader of Chinese-made medicines, America still shows strong demands of
Chinese-made medicines in the first six month of this year. The exports of the first half was
US$2.02billion, year-on-year growth of 18.42%, the average export price approximately was
US$6.79 per kilogram, year-on-year growth of 20.83%.
Within the top 10 export markets, both exports and export volume of Germany (ranked 5th)
and Brazil (ranked 10th) recorded negative growth. However, Netherland (ranked 6th) and
Australia (ranked 8th) recorded double-digit increase in exports and export volume, particular
obvious in the export of Australia; the exports and average export price were up to 53.8% and
49.75% respectively.
There were 8,507 enterprises operating export of Western medicines in China in the first six
months of 2012, an increase of 140 over the same period last year. Increase of enterprises
represent the industry is optimistic about the future growth prospects of the pharmaceutical
The export of goods condition in the first six months of 2012, the pattern of exporting
Chinese-made medicines did not show much change, but still occupied the highest proportion,
up to 82.99%. Meanwhile, the Western OTC medicines and biochemical medicines equal the

share, accounting for difference less than 1%.
Be more specific to the export situation, chemical raw material export volume was flat
comparing with same period last year to 3.07million tons, but the average export price
increased by 5.33%, so the exports grew 5.20%, to US$11.6billion; in which, the export
prices of certain antibiotics raw materials declined sharply comparing with last year, these
were penicillin, macrolide and cephalosporsins, the average export price decrease about 20%.
The export of Western OTC medicines grew fast, year-on-year growth of 33.05%, to
US$1.26billion; average export price increased by 13.75%. Rapid growth of Western OTC
medicines export trade advantage the restructuring of Chinese-made Western medicines and
undoubtedly played a good role model. Biochemical export trade showed a slightly
downwards trend in the first six months of this year, but the performance is still attractive,
especially to enzyme and coenzymes products, the exports and average export price both
increased by approximately 20%.

Import Operation Situation

The import of Chinese-made medicines maintain steadily, year-on-year growth of 21.33%, to
US$ 9.61billion, majority import goods were Western OTC medicines medicines, up to 50%
among all.
The import goods to China are mostly from Europe, Asia and North America. The first six
months of 2012, the amount of imported Western medicines from Europe was
US$6.16million, it showed a positive growth factor. The imports and average import prices

both increased more than 20%. The imports and average import price of both North America
and Asia both reached double-digit growth, 18.78% and 11.27% respectively, the imports
were US$1.18billion and US$1.81billion.
The top 10 import trade partners of Chinese-made medicines are Germany, the United States,
Switzerland, France, Japan, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. The
imports accounted for about 72.18%. From the average import price prospective, the import
price of Western medicines is in raising tend, especially the goods from Ireland and Sweden.
The import average price of these two countries rose by more than 50%. Within the top 10
sources of imports, only Italy showed decreased of import average price, a decline of 32.72%,
but brought an increased of import volume by 123%.
Importing situation of the first half of 2012, there were 5,100 enterprises in China operating
import of Western medicines in China. Among all, foreign-funded enterprises accounted for
about 53%, private enterprises accounted for about 38%, and state-owned enterprises
accounted for about 9%. Foreign-funded enterprises are not only having advantage in the
number of import enterprises, they also play a major role in imports. From January to June
2012, imports of foreign-funded enterprises amounted to US$3.57billion, year-on-year
growth of 22.51%.
The import goods situation of first six months of 2012, Chinese-made medicines contain
three categories of goods, imports of Western OTC medicines amounted to US$ 4.77billion,
year-on-year growth of 27.84%, imports of chemical raw materials amounted to US$3.55
billion, year-on-year growth of 7.01%, imports of biochemical raw material amounted to
US$1.29billion, year-on-year growth of 48.02%. From the import average price prospective,
the average imported prices of both biochemical and chemical raw materials were increased;
the average price of Western OTC medicines was slightly dropped approximately 5.21%. The
average import prices dropped significantly in hormones, cephalosporins and vitamin products,
a decrease of approximately 10%. However, the average import price of penicillin increased
by 43.92%, but caused the decreased of import volume and imports fell by 40.55% and
14.44% respectively. From import goods point of view, “fixed dosage” drugs continued to sit
tightly on the top spot of imports, while imports amounted to US$ 2.98billion, year-on-year
growth of 35.34%, accounting for 31.01% of the total imports of the entire western medicine
products. The imports of anti-serum and other blood fractions and modified immunological
products” jump to the 2nd, to US$908million.

Trends of Import and Export

The restructuring of import and export of Chinese-made medicines are becoming more
From the import side, the growth of import structure of Chinese-made medicines are due to
the following reasons, continuously funding from Chinese government to the healthcare
system, increase of consumption level of Chinese, the increasing demands of imported drugs
of China will. Also, Chinese government has introduced policies to encourage the expansion
of imports and promoting consumption would also help to promote the import of medicines.

From export side, due to the pessimistic of the international macroeconomics situation, lack
of market demands while domestic tends to excess capacity, therefore, the export of
Chinese-made medicines might enter into growth plateau or even into a “stagnation period”.
In short term, chemical raw materials would still be the main force of export, but growth
points have been transferred to the Western OTC medicines products and biochemical
medicines. Moreover, the trend would become clearer in the future, as policies would further
guidance and regulate the market. After continuous of innovation, Chinese-made medicines
and biochemical medicines would play a great role in the future international pharmaceutical
market, which will also enable China stands in a strong position in the world pharmaceutical
market, and occupy a more important position in the world’s pharmaceutical landscape.

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