China's Trade Surplus Increases in April

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 9, 2017

Data published by the People's Bank of China over the weekend showed that China's foreign exchange reserves increased for the third straight month in April.

The value of imports into China increased by 11.9% compared to a 20.3% increase in March, while exports rose 8.0% compared to 16.4% in March.

April's level was still up 5.5 percent from a year ago, while imports for the first four months of the year rose 12.5 percent to 139.12 million tonnes, or 8.46 million bpd.

As per the data of China's customs bureau, the country's trade surplus with the United States stood at $21.34 billion in the month of April, that increased from the previous month's $17.74 billion.

Australia provides around 65 per cent of China's imported iron ore.

Imports expanded 11.9% compared with forecast for a 18% jump, data from the General Administration of Customs said.

China's trade surplus in the month of March stood at $23.93 billion.

China's export data had improved in March as fears of a trade war with the US eased after US President Donald Trump's stance on Beijing softened after a cordial summit with President Xi Jinping.

A man rides on a tricycle loaded with goods past by a fashion advertisement billboard at Ritan International Trade Center in Beijing Monday

During this period, China's exports to Russian Federation grew by 22 percent reaching $11.65 billion.

China imported 8.02 million tonnes of soybeans in April, a record for the month, the data showed.

"Exports should continue to grow steadily this year", Mr. Cai said, adding that he sees less of a threat of higher USA import tariffs on Chinese goods, a possibility Mr. Trump has mentioned.

The fall in exports was partly because of a sharp reduction in quotas, after the second batch of permits issued to the country's dominant state oil firms for 2017 was down 73 percent from the first round.

Looking ahead, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, expects export growth to hold up well given the relatively bright outlook for the global economy this year.

"The latest numbers are consistent with signs of a slowdown from April business surveys", Bloomberg Intelligence economists Tom Orlik and Fielding Chen wrote in a report. China's import outlook is likely to be weighed by commodity prices, the country's rising iron ore inventory and credit tightening.

Grace Zhu and Liyan Qi contributed to this article.

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