China Trade Balance


Exports contract the most in almost four years

In June, exports fell 3.1% over the same month last year, which contrasted both the 1.0% rise seen in May and the 3.7% increase expected by market analysts. Moreover, the print marks the sharpest decline tallied since October 2009. As a result of the monthly reading, in the 12 months up to June, exports grew 8.6% over the corresponding period last year (May: +9.9% year-on-year).

Analysts believe that the unexpected contraction seen in June continues to reflect authorities' efforts to crack down on fake trade invoicing in order to bring money into China as well as cooling global demand.

Meanwhile, imports fell 0.7% in June, which follows the 0.3% contraction seen in May and contrasted the 6.0% rise anticipated by market analysts. As a result, imports expanded 4.3% in the 12 months up to June (May: +4.9% yoy).

The trade balance recorded a surplus of USD 27.1 billion, which was below the USD 31.7 billion surplus witnessed in the same month last year but broadly in line with market expectations of a USD 27.8 billion surplus. Accordingly, the 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus fell from USD 276 billion in May to USD 272 billion in June.

FocusEconomics panellists project merchandise exports will grow 9.9% in 2013 to USD 2.3 trillion, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 254 billion from USD 231 billion in 2012. For 2014, the panel expects export to increase 10.5%, while the trade surplus will increase to USD 259 billion.

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China Trade Balance Chart

China Trade12m June 2013

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