China October export growth strong in race to beat higher United States tariffs

12 November, 2018, 05:57 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • China: Front loading import and exports? – ING

Still, in October exporters continued to hurry goods across the Pacific, with China's exports to the U.S. surging 13.2 percent from the same period past year, according to the data released by China's customs administration.

However, its surplus with the U.S. fell to US$31.78 billion in October, down from a record high of US$34.13 billion in September.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected October shipments from the world's largest exporter to have risen 11.0 per cent. Exports rose 14.5 per cent in September. September exports grew 14.5 percent year-on-year.

China's import and export growth in October both vastly exceeded expectations, and China's trade surplus with the United States further expanded, which an expert said shows the US-initiated trade war does not help solve the trade imbalance problem and does not help to ease tensions.

With the export outlook clouded by U.S. tariffs and China's economy expanding at the weakest pace since the global financial crisis, policymakers in Beijing have recently turned their focus to growth boosting measures, including increasing export tax rebates and pledging more support to private firms. That figure is likely to be even higher for October, which was the first full month tariffs were in effect on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Imports rose 20.3 percent to $183.3 billion, accelerating from the previous month's 14.3 percent.

"We're hoping the meeting doesn't damage the trade relationship even further, as Trump once said that if trade talks fail, he could raise tariffs on all Chinese imported goods", Pang wrote. Chinese exports to the U.S. rose 13.2 per cent, but imports from the USA fell 1.8 per cent as the higher tariffs imposed by China have put off local importers.

"October's surprisingly strong export performance seems to have been partly due to a continuous front-loading effect and is unlikely to be a long-term trend", said Betty Wang, China economist at ANZ.

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Trump has railed against China over intellectual property theft, entry barriers to U.S. businesses and its persistently large trade surplus with the United States.

Liu Liu, analyst at Chinese investment banking firm CICC, said the risk of slowing export growth was higher now than before, based on the latest manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI).

Exports to Asia jumped in June and July, from a 43% share of total exports since the start of 2017 to reach a 56% share.

"As we expect President Xi's meeting with Presdient Trump at the end of November will not achieve positive results, the increase of the current tariff rate from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of USA imported goods from China is a high probability event". The president promised to open Chinese markets wider, to cut costs for importers and to increase consumer spending power.

A weaker currency makes Chinese goods more competitive compared with those of rival exporters and offsets some of the impact of the U.S. tariffs.

"Import growth also overshot expectations quite a lot".

Economists are still predicting that the good times for China's huge export industry won't last.

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