China Trade Cools As Imports Fall Short But Exports Rise 11%

Reuters

"China's foreign trade continued to build on a solid foundation for steady growth, its potential being gradually unleashed", said customs spokesman Huang Songping.

The trade surplus continued to narrow past year, shrinking 14.2 percent to 2.87 trillion yuan, compared with a 9.1-percent reduction registered in 2016 that saw 3.35 trillion yuan in trade surplus.

In 2016, China accounted for roughly 90 percent of the North's trade, with the secretive country's coal and iron exports bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars for the regime.

The politically volatile global trade surplus stood at $422.5 billion, down from $486 billion in 2016.

In November, China imported no iron ore, coal or lead from North Korea, the second full month of the United Nations trade sanctions.

The U.S. was China's second-largest trade partner after the European Union, according to customs. "China trade tensions", he said.

During his November visit to Beijing, the two countries announced more than $250 billion in business deals providing some salve to Trump?s fixation on trade.

China's exports for the full year rose 7.9 percent, the fastest rate since 2013, while imports gained 15.9 percent, the best since 2011.

Trump has put tackling the growing trade deficit with China and boosting US firms' access to its markets among his top priorities since coming to power. Strength in Chinese exports "is bound to add to U.S".

Trump will have opportunities to impose tariffs on a range of Chinese goods.

In December, China's exports jumped 10.9% from a year ago to $231.8 billion, down from a 12.3% pace in the previous month.

For 2017, China's imports from North Korea dropped 33 percent to $1.72 billion, the lowest value in at least four years.

Compared with a month earlier, exports fell 9.7 percent. "In contrast, import growth slowed sharply, raising questions over the state of domestic demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard, an analyst with research firm Capital Economics in Singapore, said in a note.

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