China Exports Surge Ahead of Potential Challenge From Trump

Last year, Chinese imports decreased by 5.5 percent, while exports went down 7.7 percent.

Manufacturing activity and fuel demand typically slows ahead of the Lunar New Year as production of raw materials eases.

BEIJING-China's exports rose strongly in January from a year earlier, in a possible sign of recovery in external demand for goods from the world's second-largest economy.

In volume terms, imports of iron ore also surged by 12 percent year-on-year in January following a temporary contraction in December.

China's exports in yuan-denominated terms rose 15.9 percent year on year to 1.26 trillion yuan (US$183 billion) last month, faster than the 0.6 percent gain in December.

That left the country with a initial trade surplus of $51.35 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said.

"China's growth rates turn out to be much lower than import [growth] in the last six months".

Looking at the business done between China and the U.S., imports from the U.S. rose 23.4% for the month, the fastest pace in at least a year.

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

Chinese data showed a smaller overall surplus but the narrowing trend was similar. Michael Klein#mondaymotivation EconoFactOrg (EconoFactOrg) January 30, 2017 Louis Kuijs, head Of Asia economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong, thinks nothing is certain however: "The worry we have is really about U.S. trade policy, which is undeniably turning more protectionist..."

The GAC says that the surge is the greatest in two years.

The upside surprise in China's January trade data is likely to have been partially because of the holiday effect.

Export from China to Russian Federation rose 29.5% to $3.4 bln.

In 2016, the trade turnover between Russian Federation and China increased by 2.2 percent, with the annual figure standing at $69.525 billion.

Prolonged weakness in exports has forced China's government to rely on higher spending and massive bank lending to boost the economy, at the risk of adding to a huge pile of debt which some analysts warn is nearing danger levels.

  • Eleanor Harrison