China Trade Balance April 2018


China: Exports rebound strongly in April

May 8, 2018

Exports surprised to the upside in April and expanded 12.9% over the previous year. The print contrasted the 2.7% drop in March and exceeded market expectations of a 6.3% expansion. Analysts warn, however, that Chinese exporters could be front-loading shipments in the event of rising trade disputes between China and the U.S

Import growth accelerated to 21.5% in annual terms in April, up from 14.4% in March. Moreover, the print beat analysts’ expectations of a 16.0% increase. April’s healthy reading reflects the strength of China’s domestic demand and rising commodity prices.

As a result of the fastest acceleration in import growth, the trade surplus came in at USD 28.8 billion in April, below USD 36.3 billion in the same month a year prior (March 2018: USD 5.0 billion deficit). The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus declined from USD 408 billion in March to USD 401 billion in April.

FocusEconomics panelists expect exports to expand 6.4% in 2018 and imports to rise 7.1%, bringing the trade surplus to USD 435 billion. In 2019, exports are expected to increase 5.6% and imports to increase 6.0%, pushing the trade surplus up to USD 449.0 billion.


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China Trade Balance Chart

China Trade12m April 2018

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and FocusEconomics calculations.

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