Friday, 17 August, 2018

China's June exports jump, surplus with USA at record high

A worker sorting canned peaches for export at a factory in Xiayi in China's central Henan province A worker sorting canned peaches for export at a factory in Xiayi in China's central Henan province
Russell Knight | 13 July, 2018, 22:52

Trump has railed against China's trade surplus with the USA, which ran at $375 billion in 2017, and has demanded Beijing cut it. Washington has warned it may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of United States imports from China previous year.

Washington has warned it may ultimately impose tariffs on more than $500bn worth of Chinese goods - almost the total amount of United States imports from China previous year.

June exports to the United States grew faster than China's total with the world, expanding by 13.6 per cent over a year ago in possible sign exporters were rushing to fill orders.

This week, Washington threatened to impose 10% tariffs on another $200bn of Chinese imports.

Over the first six months of the year the surplus climbed to $133.8 billion as total two-way trade continued to expand despite the face-off.

Trump's latest tariffs threat hammered global markets, while there are worries that his decision to pick fights with other key allies including Canada and the European Union could fuel an all-out global trade war.

Asked if China was breaking WTO rules by imposing retaliatory tariffs on United States goods without first launching a formal legal dispute, Wang said China could not wait years for a ruling on the U.S. move and had acted "in line with the spirit of global law".

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"Looking ahead, export growth will cool in the coming months as United States tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", Capital Economics analyst Julian Evans-Pritchard said in a statement.

Earlier this week Donald Trump proposed a 10% tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods entering the USA, saying that tariffs already in place on steel and aluminium imports and $34bn of goods had failed to force significant reforms by Beijing.

After a strong start to the year, growth in China's exports has moderated recently, and is expected to face more pressure from the initial round of United States tariffs.

Imports grew 14.1 percent in June, customs said, missing analysts' forecast of a 20.8 percent growth, and compared with a 26 percent rise in May.

"There will be challenges facing foreign trade with rising instabilities and uncertainties in the global environment, " said a Chinese customs agency report.

The spiralling battle with Beijing shows no signs of cooling down, and observers warn the impact will begin to hurt soon as China's economy struggles with slowing growth just as leaders try to battle a worryingly large debt mountain.

"We expect slowing export growth to put downward pressure on the current account and RMB (yuan), and believe China is likely to be willing to make concessions in future rounds of trade negotiations with the U.S.", Nomura analysts said in a note to clients.

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