Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

China's Surplus With US Hits New Record In November

Xinhua  Sipa USA  Newscom Xinhua Sipa USA Newscom
Priscilla Morrison | 08 December, 2018, 17:40

In recent months, Chinese exports had expanded robustly, which economists said reflected front-loading of cargoes before a now-postponed plan to hike U.S. tariffs of US$200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on Jan 1.

China and the USA have reached agreement in the sectors of agriculture, autos, and energy, and China will immediately start implementing that consensus, a government spokesman said.

The trade surplus with the USA was nearly US$35.6 billion, driven by a 9.8 per cent rise in exports compared with the same period a year ago and a 25 per cent decline in imports.

Exports to the USA are likely to have been bolstered by American businesses front-loading their stock by buying more goods from China before the threatened increase in tariffs kicked in.

November exports only rose 5.4 per cent from a year earlier, Chinese customs data showed on Saturday (Dec 8), the weakest performance since a 3 per cent contraction in March, and well short of the 10 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the tariffs - which are often paid by importers, who then pass the added costs onto companies to whom the products belong - are likely to ultimately fall on the shoulders of American consumers.

Xu Jianwei, senior China economist from French bank Natixis, said the bigger fall in imports from 21.4 per cent in October pointed to weakness in domestic demand but higher base number from November a year ago also needed to be taken into account.

More news: FCA to Revive Idled Detroit Factory to Build Three-Row Jeep Grand Cherokee

This year, China's overall export growth has been stronger than expected in nearly every month.

China's overall trade - what it buys and sells with all countries, including the U.S. - logged a United States dollars 44.7 billion surplus in November, up from USD 35 billion the previous month, the data showed.

For trade with all countries, China's surplus was $44.74 billion for November, compared with forecasts of $34 billion and October's surplus of $34.02 billion.

But unease over the agreement has dented stocks this week with major U.S. indices falling more than two per cent to close the market's worst week since March and one that left both the Dow and the S&P 500 in negative territory for the year.

Ahead of his attendance at former President George H.W. Bush's state funeral Wednesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express optimism about the state of trade negotiations with China following Tuesday's stock market plunge.

Still, Beijing remains outwardly optimistic on prospects for a trade deal.

"We are fully confident that we can reach an agreement in the coming 90 days", commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.

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