SHIJIAZHUANG – The foreign trade of North China’s Hebei province increased by 8 percent year-on-year to 192.45 billion yuan ($27.45 billion) in the first half of 2020, the provincial department of commerce said Thursday.

Exports of the province in the first six months totaled 110.27 billion yuan, up 1.7 percent year-on-year, while its imports surged 18 percent to 82.18 billion yuan during the same period.

Among the export commodities, agricultural products, light industrial products, mechanical and electrical products, and pharmaceuticals and chemical industry goods increased by 16.5 percent, 11.9 percent, 6.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Imports of iron ore, soybeans, coal and crude oil increased significantly in the first half of this year.

In terms of trading partners, Hebei reported an increase of 17.6 percent, 48.1 percent, 10.8 percent and 50.5 percent in imports and exports with Australia, ASEAN, the United States and Brazil, respectively.

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the province saw rapid growth in the exports of anti-pandemic products in the first half of this year. Exports of masks, medical materials and drugs, as well as medical devices increased by 850 percent, 22.2 percent and 170 percent year-on-year, respectively.

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