China passes US as Israel’s largest source of imports in 2021

Last year, Israel imported $10.7 billion in goods from China, compared with $7.7 billion in 2020 and $8.2 Billion from the United States.

 A cargo ship unloads at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in Zhoushan, in the Zhejiang Province of China, Jan. 19, 2022.  (photo credit: Yao Feng/VCG via Getty Images)
A cargo ship unloads at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in Zhoushan, in the Zhejiang Province of China, Jan. 19, 2022.
(photo credit: Yao Feng/VCG via Getty Images)

China became Israel’s largest source of imports in 2021, surpassing the United States, according to data released by Israel’s National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Last year, Israel imported $10.7 billion in goods from China, compared with $7.7 billion in 2020, a nearly 40% increase.

Israel’s imports from the United States, previously its largest import source, totaled $8.2 billion, a slight increase from 2020. The United States remained Israel’s largest export destination.

Israel’s largest trade deficit was also with China, totaling $6.6 billion.

 A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. (credit: JASON LEE / REUTERS) A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. (credit: JASON LEE / REUTERS)

The new data comes shortly after Israel vowed to keep the Biden administration in the loop on any major trade deals with China, in an effort to avoid further tensions. According to a Haaretz report, the United States has not made explicit demands, but Israeli officials have begun discussing the state’s policy toward China.

Both the Biden and the Trump administrations have expressed concerns about the warming relationship between Israel and China as the latter’s ties with Europe and the United States have soured.