Published: Sun, February 12, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

China's January exports up 15.9 pct, imports up 25.2 pct

China's January exports up 15.9 pct, imports up 25.2 pct

It comes as the world's second largest economy primes itself to overtake the US, anticipating a retreat under US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies.

Exports climbed 7.9 percent year-on-year in January, reversing December's 6.2 percent fall, data from the General Administration of Customs revealed Friday.

That left the country with a initial trade surplus of $51.35 billion for the month, the highest in a year.

The Lunar New Year changes every year; however, it usually comes on the first two calendar months, resulting in volatility in China's trade data for the period.

Similarly, a 16.7 per cent increase in imports, up from 3 per cent growth the month before, indicates domestic demand is picking up.

China's imports from the United States rose 23.4 percent in January, the fastest pace in at least a year, while its monthly trade surplus with the USA dipped to $21.37 billion.

Exports jumped 7.9% in January from a year earlier, following a 6.1% drop in December, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

In yuan terms, exports surged 15.9 percent and imports by 25.2 percent annually. In total, China imported 381 million metric tons of crude previous year, showing a 13.6 percent increase.

Looking at the business done between China and the U.S., imports from the USA rose 23.4% for the month, the fastest pace in at least a year. Market expectations were for the trade surplus to widen to United States dollars 48.5 billion.

On Tuesday, Taiwan's largest steelmaker China Steel Corp. said that the company expects the strength of the global steel market to continue in 2017, extending the 2016 rebound.

Chinese data showed a smaller overall surplus but the narrowing trend was similar.

Both Chinese and U.S. data show China's surplus with the U.S. narrowed past year, but it remained well above the sustained level of more than $20 billion that is one of three criteria used by the U.S. Treasury to designate another country as a currency manipulator. -China trade and political ties is likely to weigh on confidence of exporters and investors worldwide.

Trump, who has vowed to prioritise America's interests while in office, has withdrawn from the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, but has not yet taken tough action against China three weeks after his inauguration.

China's total trade surplus narrowed in 2016 to $510.7 billion.

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