Published: Sun, February 12, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

China Exports Rebound More Than Forecast

China Exports Rebound More Than Forecast

China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Friday reported that exports in January surged 7.9 per cent year on year, beating forecasts and suggesting the economy may be steadily back on track.

The strong figures come as the country tries to position itself as a leader of the global trade regime in anticipation of a USA retreat under a protectionist Trump administration.

China's exports growth exceeded market expectations in January, expanding 7.9 percent in United States dollars terms as compared with consensus expectations of a rise of 3.2 percent. Imports of iron ore and crude oil rose sharply by 85 percent and 72 percent year-on-year respectively, thanks to the rising commodity prices contributing more than half of total import growth in January, stated ANZ in a research report. The imports were down from December's record 8.57 million bpd.

Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard said while seasonal factors, including the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday, played a large part in the results, underlying demand appears to have strengthened.

Imports had been forecast to rise 10.0 percent, accelerating from 3.1 percent growth in December.

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

The United States is close to slapping duties on imports of stainless steel from China after having issued a final determination this month that the products were being subsidized and dumped in the US market at below fair value. "It is pretty obvious to me that the climate for exports to the USA is going to be much harsher in the coming years". The holiday began in late January this year and early February last year. In total, China imported 381 million metric tons of crude past year, showing a 13.6 percent increase.

Exports increased by 15.9 percent to 1.27 trillion yuan, according to the General Administration of Customs.

This meant that China's trade surplus jumped to $51.53 billion from December's $40.71 billion.

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