China Trade Balance


China: Exports slow sharply after crackdown on fake shipments

June 8, 2013

In May, exports grew 1.0% over the same month last year, which was well below the 14.3% rise seen in April. In addition, the reading undershot the 7.4% increase expected by the markets and marks the slowest growth rate since January 2012. As a result of the monthly reading, in the 12 months up to May, exports grew 9.9% over the corresponding period last year (April: +11.2% year-on-year).

Analysts believe that the sharp slowdown seen in May mainly reflects authorities' efforts to crack down on inflating export transactions in order to bring money into China.

Meanwhile, imports fell 0.3% in May, which contrasts both the healthy 16.8% increase seen in April and the 6.6% rise anticipated by market analysts. As a result, imports expanded 4.9% in the 12 months up to May (April: +6.0% yoy).

The trade balance recorded a surplus of USD 20.4 billion, which was above the USD 18.1 billion surplus witnessed in the same month last year but broadly in line with market expectations of a USD 20.0 billion surplus. Accordingly, the 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus rose from USD 274 billion in April to USD 276 billion in May.

FocusEconomics panellists project merchandise exports will grow 10.2% in 2013 to USD 2.3 trillion, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 245 billion from USD 231 billion in 2012. For 2014, the panel expects export to increase 10.5%, while the trade surplus will shrink further to USD 237 billion.


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