China Trade Surplus Smallest in Nearly A Year


China trade surplus fell to USD32.59 billion in February of 2016 from USD60.61 billion reported a year earlier and missing market consensus. It is the smallest trade surplus since March 2015, as exports and imports declined sharply during the Lunar New Year long holiday.

In February, exports plunged by 25.4 percent to USD126.15 billion, the 8th straight month of fall and the sharpest drop since May 2009. Imports tumbled by 13.8 percent to USD93.56 billion, as compared to a 18.8 percent fall in January. It is the 15th straight month of contraction, as a result of declining commodity prices and weak demand. In the previous month, the country registered a USD63.29 billion trade surplus, the largest on record.

From January to February 2016, exports dropped by 17.8 percent. Sales declined for: rice (-18.3 percent), Chinese herbal and medicine (-24.6 percent), coke and semi-coke (-35.8 percent), crude (-74.3 percent), refined oil (-1.1 percent), mineral fertilizer (-40.8 percent), plastic products (-15.8 percent), clothing (-16.6 percent), footwear (-14.3 percent), ceramic (-34.4 percent), precious metals (-14.0 percent), steel (-34.7 percent), unwrought aluminium and aluminium (-30.5 percent), handheld wireless phone & its parts (-18.1 percent), automatic data processing equipment and parts (-20.2 percent), shipping (-30.6 percent), LCD panel (-20.9 percent), furniture & parts (-27.2 percent); lamps, lighting fixture (-21.0 percent) and toys (-2.0 percent). In contrast, outbond shipments increased for: coal & ignite (+54.4 percent) and integrated circuit (+6.8 percent). Sales declined to Hong Kong (-13.1 percent), India (-5.6 percent),  Japan (-12.2 percent), South Korea (-17.4 percent), Taiwan (-11.5 percent), the ASEAN countries (-24.8 percent), the EU countries (-15.4 percent), Russia (-6.7 percent), South Africa (-37.0 percent), the US (-15.7 percent), Brazil (-50.3 percent), Australia (-8.2 percent) and New Zealand (-23.1 percent). 

Imports tumbled by 16.7 percent year-on-year. Purchases from most of the country's trading partners declined except Hong Kong, Vietnam and New Zealand. Those from the US declined by 20.6 percent, India (-24.1 percent), Japan (-11.4 percent), South Korea (-13.4 percent), Taiwan (-16.6 percent), ASEAN countries (-10.4 percent), the EU countries (-12.2 percent), Russia (-10.7 percent), South Africa (-20.2 percent) and Australia (-32.7 percent). In contrast, imports rose from Hong Kong (+78.0 percent), Vietnam (+8.5 percent) and Brazil (+20.2 percent).

China Trade Surplus Smallest in Nearly A Year


General Administration of Customs l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
3/8/2016 5:58:27 AM