Abstract: This paper examines the composition of China’s trade from 1980 to 1996, with a focus on agriculture and a view towards understanding its changing structure relative to other sectors. We analyze the time series behavior of individual goods at the SITC three-digit level, categorized into three groups: agricultural commodities, “other primary” commodities, and manufactures. We find that agricultural trade has expanded along comparative advantage lines in a very modest way, compared to manufactures and other primary commodities.

Read article here (pdf): Economic Reform and the Changing Pattern of China’s Agricultural Trade. Paper by Colin A. Carter and Xianghong Li presented at the June 1999 International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium: China’s Agricultural Trade and Policy: Issues, Analysis and Global Consequences.