Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

China May exports rise 12.6 pct, imports up 26 pct

China May exports rise 12.6 pct, imports up 26 pct

China's trade surplus narrowed in May, driven lower by a surge in imports.

China maintained solid export growth of 12.6 percent in May, slightly slower than in April, but still providing good news for Beijing's policymakers as they deal with tough trade negotiations with Washington.

For goods alone, the United States trade deficit with China hit a record RM1.5 trillion a year ago.

"If the United States introduces trade sanctions including tariffs, all the economic and trade achievements negotiated by the two parties will be void", China's official news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.

The two countries had "deep and detailed" talks on agricultural and energy products last week, while those details are subject to confirmation, Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a regular briefing Thursday in Beijing.

"With global growth now past its peak, Chinese export growth is trending down", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

Imports grew 26 per cent in May, the General Administration of Customs said, beating analysts' forecast of 18.7 per cent growth, and compared with a 21.5 per cent rebound in April.

Shortly after the end of the exemption, the European Union initiated a dispute with the United States at the WTO, and announced Wednesday the start of applying rebalancing duties on US products in July, as part of the "three-pronged response".

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said Thursday that the country did not want an escalation of trade tensions with the U.S., pointing to "some specific progress" that was made in the most recent round of talks between the two nations.

In response to its unilateral measures, other trading partners of the United States are also joining the fight. That's up more than 10 percent from the level a year earlier. It is willing to increase imports from other countries, including the United States, to meet the people's ever-growing needs for a better life and the requirements of high-quality economic development, said Gao.

For January-May combined, exports rose 13.3 percent from the same period past year, and imports rose 21 percent.

China's bloated trade surplus with the rest of the world shrank last month, but not with the United States. Between January and May, it hit $104.8 billion, while previous year it was a record $375.2 billion.

Beijing has cut import duties on automobiles and some consumer goods and to ease curbs on foreign ownership in its auto industry.

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