China Trade Surplus Below Estimates In May


China's trade surplus fell to USD 40.8 billion in May of 2017 from USD 44.7 billion a year earlier and missing market consensus of a USD 46.3 billion surplus, as exports rose less than imports.

In May, sales grew by 8.7 percent from a year earlier to USD 191.0 billion, faster than an 8 percent rise in the prior month and beating market expectations of a 7 percent gain. 

Purchases went up 14.8 percent to USD 150.2 billion, after an 11.9 percent increase in a month earlier and above estimates of an 8.5 percent rise. 

In yuan-denominated terms, exports increased by 15.5 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 14.3 percent rise in April. Inbound shipments rose 22.1 percent, following a 18.6 percent gain in the prior month. 
In April 2017, trade surplus stood at USD 38 billion. 

Considering the first five months of 2017, total trade in USD went up 13.0 percent from a year earlier. Outbound shipments rose 8.2 percent, driven by rice (84.2 percent), coal and ignite (99.3 percent), coke (91.2 percent), crude (162.2 percent), refined oil (47.8 percent), plastic products (15.0 percent), footwear (7.5 percent), ceramic products (11.8 percent), precious metal and metal jewelry (12.0 percent), steel (10.9 percent), handheld radiotelephones and parts (9.4 percent), integrated circuit (1.1 percent), automatic data processing (8.1 percent), car and car chassis (24.5 percent), automobile parts (6.3 percent), ship (19.7 percent), liquid crystal (3.2 percent), furniture (5.9 percent), lamps, lighting (9.3 percent) and toys (45.8 percent). In contrast, sales fell for mineral fertiliser and fertiliser (-15.3 percent). Exports were higher to India (17.5 percent), Japan (6.4 percent), South Korea (14.2 percent), Taiwan (7.4 percent), ASEAN countries (11.2 percent), the EU countries (8.1 percent), Russia (22.0 percent), South Africa (15.9 percent), Brazil (35.4 percent), the US (11.5 percent), Australia (11.0 percent) and New Zealand (11.2 percent). In contrast, sales declined to Hong Kong (-4.1 percent).

Imports jumped 19.5 percent, mainly due to soybeans (33.9 percent), edible vegetable oil (21.6 percent), iron (67.7 percent), copper ore (19.1 percent), coal and ignite (133.2 percent), crude (64.9 percent), refined oil (27.0 percent), primary shape of plastics (20.4 percent), natural and synthetic rubber (89.6 percent), logs and sawn (20.1 percent), pulp (22.9 percent), textile yarn (22.6 percent) and integrated circuit (6.6 percent) and automobile parts (15.3 percent). In contrast, purchases declined for: mineral fertilizer (-10.7 percent) and metalworking machine tools (-10.0 percent). Japan was the main import partner (46.4 percent), followed by the ASEAN countries (23.3 percent), the US (21.4 percent), the EU countries (12.0 percent), South Korea (10.4 percent), Taiwan (10.4 percent) and Australia (59.3 percent)

In the near future, China's exports and imports are projected to stabilise and improve, the Ministry of Commerce said in its recent quarterly report.

General Administration of Customs of China | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
6/8/2017 11:44:41 AM