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Chinese medicine exports rebounded in 2017, exports 3.6 billion US dollars

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On February 6, reporter Zhang Dongfeng learned from the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products that according to China Customs statistics, in 2017, the export value of Chinese medicines was 3.64 billion US dollars, up 2.07% year-on-year, and the plant extract market was active. The amount was US$2.01 billion, up 4.33% year-on-year. The export of Chinese patent medicines was US$250 million, up 11.03% year-on-year. The export of Chinese herbal medicines and decoction pieces continued to decline negatively, down 2.23% year-on-year. It shows that the export of traditional Chinese medicines is picking up.


In 2017, Chinese medicine was exported to 118 countries and regions. The Asian region is both a traditional market for Chinese medicine exports and a major market. In the first three quarters, the US market replaced Japan as the first market for Chinese herbal medicine exports.


According to the characteristics and historical classification of foreign trade, the main forms of Chinese medicine exports are proprietary Chinese medicines, Chinese herbal medicines, health products and extracts. At present, the export of Chinese medicine has been gradually changed from extracting Chinese herbal medicines to extracts.


China's exports of Chinese medicine to Japan and South Korea are mainly extracts and Chinese herbal medicines. In addition to the export of common extracts, it is mainly used for raw materials of Kampo medicine in Japan; the export of extracts to Korea is mainly used for its health products and cosmetics. raw material. As the largest extract market in the United States, the extract is mainly used in the production of dietary supplements and food additives, and the demand for raw materials has remained relatively strong. China's exports to Europe are mainly extracts, the main markets are Germany, Spain and France.


Chinese patent medicines are still dominated by Chinese circles in foreign countries, and market capacity growth is limited. The EU is the world's largest botanical drug market and one of the main target markets for Chinese proprietary Chinese medicine exports. In the first three quarters of 2017, China’s exports of Chinese patent medicines to the former 15 EU countries were US$500.53 million, an increase of 8.73% year-on-year. The export volume to the EU's eastward expansion of 12 countries was 2,359,600 US dollars, an increase of 3.59%.


Also. According to statistics, in the first three quarters of 2017, the main varieties of Chinese medicine import and export trade increased significantly. The import volume of bird's nest was 48,000 kg, up 84.89% year-on-year; the import volume of antler was 486,000 kg, up 22.88% year-on-year, 98.30%. The import volume came from New Zealand; the export volume of ginseng in China was 1.178 million kg, down 18.36% year-on-year. The decline was mainly due to the weakening demand in Japan and Europe.


The reporter also learned that in recent years, the domestic economic growth has slowed down and the growth rate of the pharmaceutical industry has decreased. China's pharmaceutical industry has entered the era of structural optimization from the era of rapid expansion. Under this background, Chinese medicine enterprises have taken the initiative to change, and have developed international strategies, seeking transformation and upgrading, and entering the international market is one of the upgrading paths of high-quality Chinese medicine enterprises. The participation of Chinese medicine companies in international registration and certification has gradually increased, and the pace of registration in the mainstream pharmaceutical market has accelerated. As Chinese medicine is recognized in the form of legislation in Australia, Canada and other countries, Chinese medicine companies have registered products in Singapore, Cuba, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Russia and other countries. In addition, a group of traditional Chinese medicine enterprises represented by Shenwei, Lanzhou Foci and Di'ao Group have taken the initiative to apply for international high-end certification in recent years, hoping to gain priority in the mainstream pharmaceutical consumer market such as Europe and the United States through certification. 


At the same time, in recent years, some Chinese medicine companies that have been at the forefront of internationalization have begun to establish marketing networks in the global market through investment and mergers. In 2013, Tasly invested 1.82 million euros to acquire Dutch Shenzhou Pharmaceutical Center Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Holland Haidebao Management Co., Ltd., and established the Dutch Shenzhou Tianshili Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd., which pioneered overseas mergers and acquisitions in the field of Chinese medicine. The Tong Ren Tang Group established a joint venture company in the UK in the early 21st century and has established wholly-owned or joint venture branches in Australia, South Korea, Singapore and other countries. In November 2016, Tong Ren Tang established an African center in Johannesburg, South Africa, and opened five stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.


The vigorous growth of the trade in medical services has also helped the Chinese medicine to “go global”. With the continuous extension and subdivision of the pharmaceutical industry chain, new formats such as pharmaceutical R&D contract outsourcing services, pharmaceutical production contract outsourcing services, and pharmaceutical sales contract outsourcing services have gradually emerged, which is becoming a new form of Chinese medicine companies participating in the international division of labor. Chinese medicine services have accelerated the pace of “going out”. The data shows that about 2,000 Chinese medicine clinicians are sent each year, accounting for 60% of the total number of expatriate medical laborers. More than 60 Chinese medicine service trade institutions have opened Chinese medicine hospitals, Chinese medicine clinics, Chinese medicine health care institutions, and Chinese medicine research centers in more than 20 countries and regions. The annual consultation volume has reached 250,000.


In general, the demand for the international market for pharmaceutical trade has stabilized and rebounded in 2017, and the export volume has steadily increased. The structure of China's pharmaceutical exports has been further optimized, the pace of internationalization of enterprises has accelerated, new development momentum has been formed, and the development of pharmaceutical trade has generally improved.