China Trade Surplus Hits Fresh Record High in January


China trade surplus stood at USD63.29 billion in January of 2016, widening from USD 60.03 billion reported a year earlier and beating market consensus. It is the largest trade surplus on record, as exports and imports fell far worse than expected.

In January, exports plunged by 11.2 percent year-on-year to USD177.48 billion, following a 1.4 percent fall in December 2015. Sales dropped for: coke and semi-coke (-52.5 percent), Chinese herbal medicine and Chinese medicine (-21.2 percent), crude (-77.7 percent), refined oil (-13.0 percent), mineral fertilizer (-21.7 percent), plastic products (-3.9 percent), clothing (-7.2 percent), footwear (-11.9 percent), ceramic (-25.0 percent), steel (-36.0 percent), unwrought aluminium and aluminium (-19.8 percent), handheld wireless phone & its parts (-9.3 percent), automatic data processing equipment and parts (-20.6 percent), shipping (-25.2 percent), LCD panel (-18.5 percent), furniture & parts (-9.9 percent) and lamps, lighting fixture (-5.3 percent). In contrast, outbond shipments increased for: rice (+5.2 percent), coal & ignite (+71.7 percent), precious metals (+13.0 percent), integrated circuit (+6.8 percent) and toys (+11.7 percent).

Sales declined to Hong Kong (-2.6 percent), Japan (-5.3 percent), South Korea (-15.9 percent), Taiwan (-11.0 percent), the ASEAN countries (-17.9 percent), the EU countries (-11.9 percent), Russia (-4.2 percent), South Africa (-34.7 percent), the US (-9.7 percent), Brazil (-44.3 percent), Australia (-0.4 percent) and New Zealand (-22.6 percent). In contrast, exports rose to India (+4.4 percent), 

Imports tumbled by 18.8 percent year-on-year to USD114.19 billion, following a 7.6 percent decline in the preceding month. It is the 14th straight month of contraction, as a result of declining commodity prices and weak demand. Purchases from most of the country's trading partners declined except Hong Kong, Vietnam and New Zealand. Those from the US declined by 26.7 percent, India (-24.8 percent), Japan (-15.9 percent), South Korea (-14.5 percent), Taiwan (-18.5 percent), ASEAN countries (-10.8 percent), the EU countries (-18.1 percent), Russia (-18.9 percent), South Africa (-17.9 percent) and Australia (-31.2 percent). In contrast, imports rose from Hong Kong (+108.1 percent), Vietnam (+18.9 percent) and Brazil (+27.6 percent).

In December 2015, the country registered a USD 60.09 billion trade surplus.

General Administration of Customs | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/15/2016 11:22:49 AM