China Returns to Trade Surplus In April


China's exports rose 14.7 percent in April from a year ago while imports grew 16.8 percent, leaving the country with a trade surplus of $18.16 billion for the month. That compares with a trade surplus of $18.5 billion a year earlier and deficit of $0.8 billion in March.

The 14.7 percent increase in exports was led by a 57.2 percent jump in shipments to Hong Kong. 
 
Imports were stronger than expected rising 16.8% yoy after a 14.1% growth in March, giving some encouragement about China's appetite for global commodities.
 
In April, imports from the United States increased 20 percent year-on-year while exports decreased 0.1 percent. Exports to the European Union were down 6 percent and imports up 12 percent. Trade with Japan decreased; exports by 1.2 percent and imports 3.3 percent. Exports to ASEAN and Taiwan rose 37 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
 
For the first four months of the year, China had a trade surplus of $61 billion and total trade increased by 14 per cent year-on-year to $1.33 trillion in the same period.
 
China’s trade data have come under scrutiny because of the defference from the trends in neighbouring countries. There is evidence that exporting firms have over-invoiced their sales bills to evade capital controls and bring cash into China.

Nuno Fontes | nuno@tradingeconomics.com
5/8/2013 12:10:54 PM