China Trade Surplus Narrows in August


China reported a USD 52.05 billion trade surplus in August of 2016, compared to a USD 59.68 billion surplus a year earlier and below market estimates, as exports fell less than expected while imports rose for the first time in 22 months.

In August, exports declined by 2.8 percent year-on-year, following a 4.4 percent drop in the preceding month and market consensus of a 4.0 percent drop. 

Imports unexpectedly increased by 1.5 percent, compared to a 12.5 percent decrease in July while markets expected a 4.9 percent fall.

In yuan-denominated terms, sales grew by 5.9 percent from a year ago, following a 2.9 percent rise in July while inbound shipments went up 10.8 percent, compared to a 5.7 percent decline in the preceding month.

In June 2016, the country registered a USD 46.60 billion trade surplus.

Considering the first eight months of 2016, total trade in USD decreased by 7.9 percent from a year-earlier. Exports dropped by 7.1 percent.  Sales were down to Hong Kong (-7.3 percent), Japan (-5.2 percent), South Korea (-7.5 percent), Taiwan (-13.3 percent), ASEAN countries (-7.4 percent), Brazil (-30.5 percent), South Africa (-9.1 percent), the US (-7.8 percent), Australia (-7.4 percent), New Zealand (-4.3 percent) and the EU (-3.6 percent). In contrast, outbound shipments rose to India (+2.0 percent) and Russia (+8.7 percent). Imports slumped 9.0 percent, mainly due to lower commodity prices. In volume terms, inbound shipments declined for: fresh, dried fruits & nuts (-10.2 percent), cereal & cereal flour (-30.8 percent), edible oil (-18.9 percent), refined oil (-4.5 percent), mineral fertiliser (-25.4 percent) and plastics in primary forms (-4.7 percent). In contrast, purchases were higher for soy (+3.1 percent), iron ore & concentrates (+9.3 percent), copper ore & concentrates (+34.6 percent), coal & ignite (+12.4 percent), crude (+13.5 percent), natural gas (+17.0 percent), pharmaceuticals (+17.2 percent) and natural rubber (+29.5 percent).

General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
9/8/2016 1:02:18 PM