The number of imported cars through Tianjin port, north China, reached approximately 34,850 in the first five months this year, an increase of 9.7 percent over the same 2003 period, the latest statistics have shown.
According to the Tianjin Customs, these imported automobiles was valued at US$950 million, up 37 percent year-on-year.
Tianjin is one of China's seven ports authorized to import autos from other countries. Car import through the port made up about 40 percent of the country's total.
Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Germany are the three leading car import markets of Tianjin port. Japan was its leading auto import market in the first five months, with the number of cars imported from it reaching 13,183 in the five-month period, which accounted for 41 percent of the total.
The number of cars imported from ROK and Germany was 10,195 and4,725 in the five-month period, up 15 percent and 39 percent respectively from the 2003's same period.
Customs statistics indicated that Beijing, the national capital, imported 15,352 autos, or 48 percent of the total imports through Tianjin port. The remaining cars went to Tianjin municipality and east China's Shandong Province.
Besides Tianjin, the other three ports that are designated to monopolize car import are northeast China's Dalian port, east China's Shanghai port and Huangpu port in southern Guangdong Province while the three land ports are Shenzhen in Guangdong, Manzhouli in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Alataw Pass in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
According to available Customs breakdowns, China imported 172,683 cars in 2003, double that of 2001, and the number of imported sedans first topped 100,000. In the first four months of 2004, the number of imported sedans reached 43,544, a year-on-year rise of 27.6 percent.
According to commitments made upon its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in late 2001, China is expected to rescind its auto import quota from Jan. 1, 2005, which remains US$10.49 billion this year. China will cut tariff rates for imported car units to 25 percent and auto parts to 10 percent by July 1, 2006.
(Xinhua News Agency June 21, 2004)