While the exports of pharmaceutical products from China increased by around 6.84% in 2013, analysts have also recorded a rise in the imports of pharma products by 6.84%. This effectively marks a slowdown in the growth of pharmaceutical exports from the country.
The total trade figures constituting pharma products showed an increase of 10.27% overall in 2013 as compared to 2012. With this, the total pharma trade notched USD 89.69 in value. However, the trade surplus for the Chinese pharma sector indicated a 12% drop, sliding down to USD 12.67 billion in 2013. This data was collated from the China Chamber of Commerce for Imports and Exports of Medicine and Health Products.
Experts look at this change as a transformational stage in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry that is losing out on its biggest growth drive—competitive pricing. Sluggishness in the international markets has only compounded this decline in trade figures.
According to international experts, a robust demand for value-added products has been responsible for driving the overall pharma market in 2013. The country recorded a 5.82% increase in overseas market sales. At the same time, the overseas sales of a bulk of active pharma ingredients have been slowing with each passing quarter. These sales constitute nearly 46% of the total pharma export trade in China.
A few leading Chinese drug makers are also facing hurdles in the form of more stringent regulatory, registration and quality mandates in the U.S. and European markets. The need of the hour for players in the Chinese pharma industry, clearly, is to work in close collaboration with international drug manufacturers to win international certification.