China's exports and imports surge

Posted February 12, 2017

The company published the paper after China released its January trade data, which showed exports and imports had jumped 15.9 percent and 25.2 percent year on year.

China's foreign trade figures were up in the first month of 2017, with total volume growing almost 20 percent since past year to US$482.2 billion.

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. The holiday fell on January 28 this year, 11 days earlier than last year.

A final report for the period is expected on February 23.

China's exports growth exceeded market expectations in January, expanding 7.9 percent in Dollars terms as compared with consensus expectations of a rise of 3.2 percent.

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

A worker stands near a stainless steel product line at a factory in Dalian Liaoning province
US tariffs looming. A worker stands near a stainless steel product line at a factory in Dalian Liaoning province

China reported better-than-expected trade data for January as demand picked up both at home and overseas, an encouraging start to 2017 for the world's largest trading nation even as Asia's exporters brace for a rise in US protectionism.

Exports of machinery and electronics rose more than 16 percent in January, and accounted for more than half of the country's total exports.

Natural gas imports to China rose to 5.83 million tonnes, up 12 percent from a year ago, the data showed.

By regions, China's trade with European Union, its largest trading partner, rose 14.1 percent year on year, while that with the United States jumped 21.9 percent, with ASEAN countries up 18.8 percent, and with Japan rising 18.4 percent.

China's trade surplus widened in January to $51.35 billion from $40.82 billion the previous month, exceeding a median forecast for a $50 billion surplus. The surplus was expected to rise to $48.5 billion. The sharp rise in China's exports in January ended the nine months of contraction.

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