Published: Sat, January 14, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

China's Exports Fall More Than Forecast; Imports Increase

China's Exports Fall More Than Forecast; Imports Increase

The rise in trade has been driven exclusively by Chinese exports to Russia, which grew 7.3 percent and came to nearly $37.3 billion, while imports from Russia fell 3.1 percent with China buying $32.228 billion worth of Russian products, according to customs data.

Imports last year gained 0.6% in yuan terms from a year earlier, reversing a drop of 13.2% in 2015, the General Administration of Customs said.

For the full year of 2016, exports slid 2 percent, while imports climbed 0.6 percent.

"There remain some obstacles facing China's foreign trade development", customs spokesman Huang Songping (黃頒平) told reporters at a news conference announcing the results, adding that the worldwide trading environment was "severe and complex".

China's December exports fell by a more-than-expected 6.1 percent on-year, while imports beat forecasts slightly, growing 3.1 percent on its strong demand for commodities.

Trump open to lifting Russia sanctions after 20 January
Trump open to lifting Russia sanctions after 20 January

The rise was mainly attributed to lending for home purchases, which surged to 5.68 trillion yuan in 2016 from 3.05 trillion yuan in 2015, although the government rolled out measures to cool the overheated property market.

China, the world's largest trader in goods, is losing shipments and trade volumes to a weak global demand fuelled by Donald Trump's allegations of currency manipulations against Beijing.

Policymakers and investors are waiting to see which of Trump's campaign trail pledges he will seek to push through after being sworn in on 20 January. Chinese exports had slumped 16 per cent in 2009.

"The trend of anti-globalization is becoming increasingly evident, and China is the biggest victim of this trend", customs spokesman Huang Songping said, adding that Beijing will closely monitor United States trade policy after Trump's inauguration.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at the consultancy Capital Economics, said he saw little prospect of China's trade position improving in the near future, partly thanks to tepid global growth.

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