China's exports and imports surge

Data for January shows China's exports soared 7.9% a positive sign for the world’s second largest economy

China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Friday reported that exports in January surged 7.9 per cent year on year, beating forecasts and suggesting the economy may be steadily back on track.

The country's trade surplus widened last month to 354.53 billion yuan ($51.62 billion) from 275.42 billion yuan in December.

Analysts say the trade surplus was boosted by the Chinese New Year holiday, which fell on January 28, 11 days earlier than last year. The holiday began in late January this year and early February last year.

It said exports jumped by 7.9 percent year on year to $182.8 billion (171.6 billion euros), reversing December's 6.1-percent plunge. China's exports to Russian Federation grew 29.5 percent, reaching $3.41 billion, while imports from Russian Federation increased by 39.3 percent - up to $3.14 billion.

The new USA administration has not announced any major initiatives yet, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade practices and talked about slapping a 45% tariff on Chinese imports.


Crude oil imports reached 34.03 million metric tons in January, 27.5 percent higher than the same period a year earlier.

In volume terms, imports of iron ore also surged by 12 percent year-on-year in January following a temporary contraction in December. Shipments last month rose 7.9 per cent to US$182.8 billion (S$260 billion), more than twice as much as expected, after exports a year ago slumped almost 8 per cent.

China's trade surplus with the USA was $21.37 billion in January, down from $21.73 billion in December 2016, according to data from China's customs bureau.

Overall, with the value of exports outpacing imports, the trade surplus expanded by 25 per cent to $US51.4 billion, a handy infusion of cash given ongoing concerns about falling foreign exchange reserves.

The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $6.55 billion in January 2017. The indexes for exports and imports edged up to 50.3 and 50.7 respectively, staying above the 50 demarcation line for three straight months.

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