The Strategist

Analysts: Chinese export grows despite restrictions

02/15/2019 - 11:33

Exports from China in January in annual terms increased by 9.1% (after the December decline by 4.4%), despite the effect of US duties, according to statistics from the PRC. At the same time, imports to China also increased, but only by 1.5% (it fell by 7.6% in December). via flickr via flickr
In general, China's exports grew by 9.9% in 2018, imports - by 15.8%, the trade surplus amounted to $ 351.8 billion, which is significantly less than it was in 2017 ($ 509.7 billion). In January, Chinese exports to the United States fell by 2.4% (by 3.8% in December), while American shipments to China fell immediately by 41.2%. The surplus of Chinese trade with the United States in January decreased from $ 29.9 billion to $ 27.3 billion (amounted to a record of $ 323.3 billion last year).

Recall that at the end of September 2018, Washington approved a ten percent duty on the import of Chinese goods with a “value” of about $ 200 billion. China responded by announcing a duty of $ 60 billion, bringing the total volume of supplies to which the restrictions apply to $ 360 billion (of which $ 250 billion accounted for goods from China). After that, the import of soybeans into China (one of the key articles of American exports to the PRC) fell for the first time since 2011. "So far, it is impossible to be confident about the recovery in trade growth due to the pronounced seasonality factor in January (purchases before the Chinese New Year), but even if this trend is confirmed, the forecast for the whole year will rather remain negative due to the weakening global economy domestic demand,” - Capital Economics noted.

Meanwhile, Washington commenced a regular round of talks between Heads of the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Finance of the USA, Robert Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Earlier, the White House announced its readiness to raise the rates on duties on imports of $ 200 billion to 25%, and also to cover the remaining volume of imports with tariffs. However, after a personal meeting between Donald Trump and PRC Chairman Xi Jinping at the G-20 in early December, the deadline for such actions was postponed to March 2. By this time, the parties are expected to agree on a list of concessions. However, on the eve of the current negotiations, Donald Trump said that this period may be slightly postponed.