China’s April exports up 8.5% despite weak global demand

Beijing – Chinese exports rose 8.5% in April, showing unexpected strength despite weakening global demand, as customs data showed on Tuesday.

Exports increased to $295.4 billion compared to the same period last year, although at a slower pace, building on the momentum seen in March’s data, which increased by 14.8%.

But imports shrunk at a faster pace, totaling $205.2 billion, down 7.9% from the same period last year, according to data from the General Department of Customs on Tuesday. March was down 1.4%. Trade with the US and European Union showed contraction compared to last year.

China’s trade surplus widened in April, up 82.3% year-on-year.

In the first four months of this year, exports reached $1.12 trillion, up 2.5% from the same period in 2022, according to a report by the General Administration of Customs of China. Total imports he fell 7.3% to $822 billion.

Nevertheless, forecasters say exports will weaken this year.

Analysts say the 8.5% figure may not reflect the actual rise in exports, citing a slower pace of expansion in export data compared to last month. According to an analysis by consultancy Capital Economics, “This suggests that global demand for Chinese goods remains weak, with the surge in March related to distorted customs data rather than a true recovery. It supports our view that

According to an analysis by ING’s chief economist Iris Pang, the positive data “was largely the result of a low base from last year’s COVID-19 lockdown, when Shanghai was shut down under China’s ‘zero COVID’ policy. .

Global consumer demand weakened under the influence of the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Asia raised interest rates to curb inflation It was close to a multi-decade high as business and consumer activity subdued.

Chinese manufacturers said new orders and export orders in April fell from the previous month, according to a survey by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Logistics and Purchasing Federation.

the government is official this year Economic growth target of “about 5%”, It rose from last year’s 3% expansion, which was the second weakest since the 1970s. Some economists have raised their growth forecast to nearly 6% after March’s unexpectedly strong trade data.

Trade is also curbed by tensions with Washington. Restricted Access to US Processor Chips Other technologies in feuds with Beijing over security and China’s industrial policy. Chinese factories assemble most of the world’s smartphones and other electronic devices.

Exports to the US in April fell 6.5% year-on-year to $43.0 billion, while imports fell 2.9% to $13.3 billion. China’s trade surplus narrowed 7% to $29.7 billion.

Trade with Europe is also shrinking. April exports to the European Union were $44.7 billion, down 17.7% year-on-year. Imports also contracted, dropping 38.6% to $23.4 billion. Meanwhile, China’s trade surplus with the EU increased her 31.5% to $21.3 billion.

According to Simon Knapp of Oxford Economics, China’s imports from Asian producers of chips and other electronic components are weakening. Knapp noted that while South Korea’s exports to China fell nearly 30% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, South Korea’s exports to the rest of the world fell just 7%.

“Companies in the region are responding to deteriorating U.S.-China relations,” Mr. Knapp wrote in an April 24 report. We are likely to adjust.”

Meanwhile, China’s trade with Russia showed even more positive growth. Exports to Russia tripled from her April figure to $9.6 billion, while imports rose 7% to $9.6 billion. China has virtually eliminated its trade deficit with Russia, and she narrowed her $5.1 billion deficit in favor of Russia last year by 99%.

On April 23, the government announced measures to help struggling exporters, including making more trade finance available and encouraging cross-border e-commerce.

The five-month campaign, which launched on April 29, aimed to increase trade by improving logistics and reducing costs for exporters in 17 cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

The Politburo of the ruling Communist Party pledged at a meeting on April 28 to spur economic recovery and “boost demand” at home.


Wu reported from Taipei, Taiwan.

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https://www.local10.com/business/2023/05/09/china-exports-up-85-in-april-in-unexpected-climb/ China’s April exports up 8.5% despite weak global demand

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