China Trade Surplus Narrows on Falling Exports


China reported a USD 3.08 billion trade surplus in March of 2015, down from a USD 7.70 billion surplus a year earlier and well below market expectations. While exports fell the most in a year, imports posted the biggest drop since May of 2009.

In March, exports declined 15.0 percent year-on-year to USD 145 billion, compared to a 48 percent increase in the previous month. Sales were down to all main export partners: the United States (-8 percent), the EU countries (-19.1 percent), the ASEAN countries (-9.3 percent), Japan (-24.8 percent), South Korea (-1 percent), Taiwan (-4.8 percent) and Australia (-17.2 percent).

Imports fell by 12.7 percent year-on-year to USD 141.5 billion as a result of falling commodity prices and following a 20.5 percent drop in February. Purchases from Australia contracted the most (-24.3 percent), followed by the EU countries (-7.9 percent) and the ASEAN countries (-7.2 percent).

In Yuan terms, exports plunged 14.6 percent year-on-year and imports were down 12.3 percent in March.

Considering the first quarter of 2015, total trade shrank 6.3 percent over a year earlier as exports rose at a slower 4.7 percent while imports were down 17.3 percent. 

Shipments decreased to Hong Kong (-10.3 percent), Japan (-11.8 percent) and Russia (-34.5 percent). In contrast, sales rose to India (+23 percent), the ASEAN countries (+5.9 percent), the EU countries (+2.5 percent), the US (+11.3 percent), South Africa (+20.1 percent), Australia (+7.1 percent), New Zealand (+25 percent), Taiwan (+5.9 percent) and South Korea (+2.5 percent).

Imports from India declined by 23.6 percent; Hong Kong (-29.2 percent), the ASEAN countries (-14.5 percent), the US (-12.9 percent), Japan (-11 percent), the EU countries (-10 percent), South Korea (-8.0 percent), New Zealand (-43.1 percent), Australia (-27.1 percent), South Africa (-48.3 percent), Russia (-32.6 percent) and Brazil (-37.5 percent). Imports rose only from Vietnam (+17.3 percent).
 

General Administration of Customs | Rida Husna l rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/13/2015 10:13:18 AM