China Trade Surplus Widens More than Expected


China trade surplus increased to USD 59.49 billion in May of 2015 from USD 35.92 billion reported a year earlier. This is the third-biggest monthly surplus on record as imports declined more than exports.

In May, exports dropped 2.5 percent year-on-year to USD 190.75 billion, compared to a 6.4 percent decrease in the previous month. Imports fell by 17.6 percent year-on-year to USD 131.26 billion as a result of declining commodity prices and following a 16.2 percent drop in April. In the previous month, the country registered a USD 34.13 billion trade surplus.

Considering the first five months of 2015, exports rose a meager 0.7 percent, driven by rice (+19.6 percent); crude (+428.4 percent); mineral fertilizer (+72.8 percent); ceramic products (+34.2 percent); unwrought aluminium (+28.6 percent), handheld wireless(+18.2 percent); lamps, lighting fixtures (+23.4 percent) and toys (+11.9 percent). In contrast, sales declined for: coal and ignite (-43.0 percent); rare earths (-28.0 percent), refined oils (-34.2 percent), precious metals (-67.3 percent), automatic data processing (-13.0 percent) and LCD panel (-6.3 percent). Shipments increased to India (+11.7 percent), the ASEAN countries (+1.7 percent), the US (8.7 percent), South Africa (14.5 percent) and Australia (+5.5 percent) but were down to Hong Kong (-9.3 percent), Japan (-11.4 percent), Russia (-36.7 percent) and Brazil (-6.7 percent).  

Imports shrank 17.3 percent as purchases from all of the country's trading partners declined except Vietnam. Those from the US decreased by 10.3 percent, India (-27.4 percent), Japan (-11.3 percent), Hong Kong (-24.2 percent), South Korea (-7.9 percent), the EU countries (-14.2 percent), the ASEAN countries (-11.4 percent), Russia (-27.6 percent), South Africa (-43.1 percent), Brazil (-31.6 percent) and Australia (-29.5 percent). In contrast, imports from Vietnam rose by 17.3 percent.

General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna l rida@tradingeconomics.com
6/8/2015 10:04:26 AM