Sunday, 22 September, 2019

China's trade with U.S. shrinks as tariff war worsens

Containers China exports drop amid trade war with U.S.
Patty Aguilar | 11 September, 2019, 10:30

However, Chinese imports of United States goods dropped by about 22% to $10.3 billion, official customs data showed .

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last Friday that the US wants "near-term" results from US-China trade talks in this month and next, but cautioned that the trade conflict could take years to resolve.

In April 2019, the United States said it wanted to put tariffs on $11.2 billion worth of goods from the EU.

China's exports fell by 1% year-on-year in August, official data showed Sunday, amid a bruising trade war with the USA that has roiled markets in the world's top two economies. Imports from the USA slumped 22.4 percent.

USA and Chinese negotiators are preparing for talks in October.

Chinese demand, however, has been dampened by a year-old outbreak of deadly African swine fever in the world's top pig producer.

China bought 56.31 million tonnes of soybeans in the first eight months of the year, down 9.2% from last year, customs data showed.

"The optimism from easing policies announced on Friday may be partially offset by the weak trade data as the economy still faces larger downward pressures", said Peiqian Liu, a China economist at NatWest Markets in Singapore.

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China and the United States on Thursday agreed to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington, the first in-person discussions since a failed US-China trade meeting at the end of July.

China's worldwide trade grew by just 0.1 per cent year-on-year in August, according to official data released on Sunday. That demand will prove to be a hard compromise for the USA, as Washington claims some tariffs must remain in place to hold Beijing accountable for any agreements it makes.

That is despite analyst expectations that a falling yuan would offset some cost pressure and looming tariffs might have prompted some Chinese exporters to bring forward or "front-load" US-bound shipments into last month, a trend seen earlier in the trade dispute. That would extend penalties to nearly everything the United States buys from China.

However, neither side has backed off recently-imposed tariffs.

"China-US trade friction has led to a sharp decline in China's exports to the United States", said Steven Zhang, chief economist and head of research at Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities. "Add in the inevitable fall-off when US shipments finally catch up with 15% and 30% tariffs, and it's an ugly picture".

As it stands now, only $50 billion of US -made goods sent to China are not being affected by the tariff penalties.

Some analysts suggest Beijing is holding out in hopes Trump will feel pressure to make a more favorable deal as his campaign for the 2020 presidential election picks up.

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