China exports surge ahead of trade friction risk

Feb 10 2017 10:01
Bloomberg News

Beijing - China’s overseas shipments rebounded in January with exports to the US rising, just as it braces for potential trade frictions under Donald Trump’s presidency.

Key points

Exports rose 7.9% from a year earlier in dollar terms Imports increased 16.7% Trade surplus was $51.4bn. Exports gained 15.9% in local-currency terms

Big picture

Trump - who has accused China of unfair trade practices - is assembling a cabinet that includes critics of the world’s largest exporter. Its shipments to the US rose 9% from a year ago in dollar terms.

Policy makers are surveying Chinese companies this month to evaluate the potential impact should the US label the nation a currency manipulator and imposes punitive tariffs, according to people familiar with the issue. Rising demand from Asia and Europe may help counter risk from the US.

Economist takeaways

“The exports outlook for China is good, except for the potential risk of a Sino-US trade war,” said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia in Hong Kong. The strong performance in January “is related to the global pick-up in growth in the US, Europe and also emerging economies. Imports are strong, which is understandable, as Chinese government stimulus has boosted domestic demand.”

"The earlier arrival of Lunar New Year this year by almost a week seems to have encouraged more activity concentrating in January," said  Raymond Yeung, chief greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking in Hong Kong.

The details

Exports to Japan rose 9.8%, 5.8% to the European Union Imports from US rose 27.3%. Imports of coal, crude oil rising.

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china  |  trade  |  exports  |  economy



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