Economic Indicators

Brazil surpasses Belgium as top export market for Chinese EVs, hybrids, data shows

BEIJING (Reuters) — Brazil has overtaken Belgium as the largest export market for Chinese new energy vehicles, industry data showed, as Chinese carmakers increase sales to non-European markets amid European Union’s anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles.

Exports of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars to Brazil soared 13-fold year-on-year to 40,163 units in April, making it the biggest export market for a second straight month, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The steep increase in exports to Brazil, which was the 10th largest export market in January, comes ahead of a further increase in tariffs on EVs and hybrid vehicle imports from July as the South American country seeks to encourage local auto production.

Several Chinese automakers have already started increasing investments for local production in Brazil. BYD (SZ:002594) has started building a manufacturing complex there to begin local production by year-end or in early 2025 and Great Wall Motor has said that its Brazil plant would begin operations this month.

Brazil also became China’s second-largest export destination for all cars in April, trailing Russia which retained its top spot.

Russia, which is subject to Western sanctions, is expected to remain China’s largest car export market, said CPCA secretary general Cui Dongshu.

Spain, France, the Netherlands and Norway were among the countries that saw biggest falls in imports of China-made electric passenger vehicles in January-April, according to CPCA data.

EU’s anti-subsidy probe has disrupted Chinese vehicle exports to the bloc, but the country’s carmakers have been actively exploring South America, Australia and ASEAN markets for exports, Cui said.

In the first four months of this year, Chinese auto exports to Russia increased 23% to 268,779 vehicles. Exports to Mexico and Brazil jumped 27% and 536% to 148,705 and 106,448 respectively during the same period.

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