Thursday August 09 2018
China Inflation Rate Rises to 4-Month High in July
National Bureau of Statistics of China | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation rose to a four-month high of 2.1 percent year-on-year in July of 2018 from 1.9 percent in the previous month and above market consensus of 1.9 percent. Still, inflation remained well below the Chinese government’s target of around 3 percent for 2018.

The politically sensitive food inflation picked up to a three-month high of 0.5 percent in July from 0.3 percent in the prior month, mainly boosted by a rebound in fresh fruit prices (0.4 percent vs -5.3 percent in June). Additional upward pressure came from: eggs (11.7 percent vs 15.1 percent); poultry (6.6 percent vs 6.7 percent); and fresh vegetables (3.8 percent vs 9.3 percent). Pork prices, however, continued to fall sharply (-9.6 percent vs -12.8 percent), as well as edible oil costs (-0.7 percent vs -0.8 percent).

In addition, prices rose for: transport and communication (3 percent vs 2.4 percent), with vehicle fuel prices jumping 22.2 percent (vs 17.8 percent); rent, fuel & utilities (2.4 percent vs 2.3 percent); education, culture and recreation (2.3 percent vs 1.8 percent); household goods and services (1.6 percent vs 1.5 percent); clothing (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent); other goods and services (1.2 percent vs 0.9 percent); and healthcare (4.6 percent vs 5 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, stood at 1.9 percent in July, the same as in the previous two months.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent in July, following a 0.1 percent drop in June and beating market expectations of a 0.2 percent rise. It was the first monthly increase in consumer prices for five months, driven by higher prices of pork (2.9 percent vs 1.1 percent) and fresh vegetables (1.7 percent vs -1.8 percent).

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 4.6 percent from a year earlier in July, after a 4.7 percent rise in the previous month and beating market expectations of 4.4 percent. Prices of means of production went up 6 percent (vs 6.1 percent in June), buoyed by extraction (13.4 percent vs 11.5 percent), raw materials (9 percent vs 8.8 percent) and processing (4.1 percent vs 4.6 percent). Also, consumer goods inflation rose to 0.6 percent in July from 0.4 percent in June, led by clothing prices (0.7 percent vs 0.3 percent) while inflation was unchanged for both food production (at 0.7 percent) and daily use goods (at 1.1 percent). By contrast, prices of consumer durable goods continued to decline (-0.2 percent vs -0.5 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices edged up 0.1 percent.




Wednesday August 08 2018
China July Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 28.05 bilion in July 2018 from USD 44.85 billion in the same month a year earlier and far below market consensus of USD 39.33 bilion. Imports jumped 27.3 percent to a near record high while exports rose at a softer 12.2 percent.

Imports surged 27.3 percent from a year earlier to USD 187.52 billion in July, way faster than market expectations of a 16.2 percent rise and compared with a 14.1 percent growth in June. China's coal imports soared 49.1 percent year-on-year to 29.01 million tonnes, the highest since January 2014, and were above June's 25.46 million tonnes, as rising temperatures boosted demand for coal-fired power to run air conditioners in the world's top buyer of the fuel. In addition, imports of copper concentrate rose to a record 1.845 million tonnes last month, up 31.8 percent from a year earlier and also 5.4 percent higher than 1.75 million tonnes imported in June. China's unwrought copper imports - which include anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products - rose 15.9 percent year-on-year to 452,000 tonnes in July. Crude shipments came in at 36.02 million tonnes in July, or 8.48 million barrels per day, the third lowest so far this year. They were up from 8.18 million bpd a year ago, and from June's 8.36 million bpd. Imports of iron ore also grew 4.3 percent year-on-year to 89.96 million tonnes in July. Meantime, arrivals of soybeans fell 20.6 percent to 8.01 million tonnes in July from last year's 10 million tonnes, and were lower than June's  8.70 milion tonnes. Beijing imposed a 25 percent tariff on a list of American products totalling USD 34 billion, including soybeans, on July 6th.

Exports rose 12.2 percent to USD 215.57 billion in July, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase and up from a 11.2 percent gain in June, despite fresh US tariffs. Unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports were 519,000 tonnes last month, their second-highest level on record, boosted by a weaker yuan and a still-favourable price arbitrage to international markets. July's aluminium exports were up 18 percent from 440,000 tonnes a year ago and up 1.8 percent from 510,000 tonnes in June. Meanwhile, sales of steel products dropped 15 percent to 5.89 million tonnes in July from 6.96 million tonnes last year. Also, steel exports were down 15 percent from June's 11-month high of 6.94 million tonnes. China, the world's top producer of steel and aluminium, has been subject to 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminium import tariffs, in the United States, since March 23rd. The Trump administration just announced plans to impose new tariffs on USD 16 billion in Chinese imports, bringing the total value of products covered by the duties to USD 50 billion.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, narrowed slightly to USD 28.09 billion in July from June's record of USD 28.93 billion in June. Exports to the US grew 11 percent year over year from 12.5 percent in June, while imports was up 11 percent from 9 percent.

For January-July, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 166.63 billion from USD 222.95 billion in the same period 2017. The seven-month trade surplus with the US widened to USD 161.63 billion, compared with about USD 142.75 billion in the same period last year.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 176.96 billion in July, as imports increased by 20.9 percent and exports by 6 percent. For January-July, the trade surplus narrowed by 30.6 percent to CNY 1.06 trillion, as imports grew by 12.9 percent and exports by 5 percent.




Monday July 16 2018
China Economy Expands 1.8% QoQ in Q2
National Bureau of Statistics l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy grew by 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to June of 2018, compared to a 1.4 percent expansion in the previous period and beating market estimates of a 1.6 percent growth. It was the fastest quarterly expansion since the September quarter 2017.

Year-on-year, the economy advanced 6.7 percent year-on-year in the June quarter of 2018, after a 6.8 percent growth in the previous three quarters  and matching market expectations.  It was the weakest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2016.

For 2018, the Chinese government targets growth at around 6.5 percent amid efforts to deleverage, contain debt and financial risks. 

In 2017, the economy expanded by 6.9 percent, beating the govermet target of around 6.5 percent and following a 26-year low of 6.7 percent in 2016.





Monday July 16 2018
China Q2 GDP Growth Slows to 6.7%
National Bureau of Statistics | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 6.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, easing from a 6.8 percent growth in the previous preiod and matching market consensus. It was the weakest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2016 amid intensifying tariff battle with the US and efforts to deleverage debt and financial risks.

For the first half of the year, China's economy expanded 6.8 percent compared to the same period 2017 amid efforts to deleverage debt and contain financial risks. The value added of the primary industry was up by 3.2 percent; the secondary industry by 6.1 percent; and the tertiary industry by 7.6 percent.

Industrial production rose 6 percent year-on-year in June, easing from a 6.8 percent increase in May and missing market consensus of 6.5 percent. Output growth slowed for all sectors: manufacturing (6 percent vs 6.6 percent in May); electricity, gas and water (9.2 percent vs 12.2 percent); and mining (2.7 percent vs 3 percent). Across industries, output rose at a softer pace for: chemicals (2.9 percent vs 4.3 percent); transport equipment (0.7 percent vs 2.5 percent); machinery (3.8 percent vs 6.4 percent); communication (10.9 percent vs 13.5 percent); and power equipment (9.3 percent vs 12.4 percent). Also, production of textiles continued to contract (-0.1 percent vs -1.5 percent), while output growth picked up for ferrous metals (7.8 percent vs 7.4 percent), general equipment (6.8 percent vs 6.6 percent), and non-metal minerals (3.7 percent vs 2.6 percent). In the first half of the year, industrial production grew by 6.7 percent.

Retail sales increased 9 percent from a year earlier in June 2018, following a 8.5 percent rise in the previous month and beating market expectations of 8.8 percent. Sales growth accelerated for: garments (10 percent vs 6.6 percent in May); cosmetics (11.5 percent vs 10.3 percent); jewelry (7.9 percent vs 6.7 percent); personal care (15.8 percent vs 10.3 percent); home appliances (14.3 percent vs 7.6 percent); furniture (15 percent vs 8.6 percent); telecoms (16.1 percent vs 12.2 percent); oil, oil products (16.5 percent vs 14 percent); and building materials (7.2 percent vs 6.5 percent). Meantime, sales of office supplies rose at a softer pace (3.5 percent vs 8.1 percent), and those of automobiles declined further (-7 percent vs -1 percent). Considering the first half of the year, retail trade grew 9.4 percent. Retail sales in rural areas increased 10.5 percent, continuing to outpace the growth in urban regions, where sales rose 9.2 percent.

Figures released earlier showed exports increased 11.3 percent year-on-year to USD 216.7 billion in June, while imports grew 14.1 percent to USD 175.1 billion. For the first half of 2018, outbound shipments rose 12.4 percent and purchases went up 19.7 percent. The six-month trade surplus with the US jumped 13.8 percent to USD 133.76 billion, as exports increased by 13.6 percent and imports by 11.8 percent.

China's fixed-asset investment increased by 6 percent year-on-year to CNY 29.73 trillion in the first half of the year, compared to a 6.1 percent growth in the January to May period and in line with market expectations. It was the smallest gain in fixed-asset investment since the series began in 2004, mainly due to a slowdown in public investment (3 percent vs 4.1 percent in January-May). At the same time, private investment grew by 8.4 percent (vs 8.1 percent). In breakdown, FAI in agriculture was up 13.5 percent (vs 15.2 percent), followed by 6.8 percent for the service sector (vs 7.7 percent), and 3.8 percent for industry (vs 2.5 percent). In addition, investment in electricity, heat, gas and water production continued to fall (-10.3 percent vs -10.8 percent), as well as in railway transport (-10.3 percent vs -11.4 percent).

For 2018, the Chinese government targets growth at around 6.5 percent, the same as in 2017.





Friday July 13 2018
China June Trade Surplus Larger than Expected
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 41.61 billion in June 2018 from USD 42.79 billion in the same month a year earlier. The surplus came in well above market consensus of USD 27.9 billion, as exporters were rushing shipments before US tariffs went into effect.

Imports rose 14.1 percent from a year earlier to USD 175.1 billion in June, missing forecasts of a 20.8 percent growth, and compared with a 26 percent rise in May. China's coal imports rose 18 percent from a year ago to 25.47 million tonnes in June, and were above May's 22.33 million tonnes, as utilities went on a buying spree to shore up electricity generation. Purchases of unwrought copper imports went up 14.9 percent year-on-year to 448,000 tonnes, but fell 4.7 percent from May's figure of 470,000 tonnes. Also, imports of  soybeans increased by 13.1 percent to 8.7 million tonnes, as buyers scooped up Brazilian supplies to avoid potentially higher costs on US soybeans that are subject to Beijing's tariffs. However, shipments were down 10.1 percent from last month's 9.68 million tonnes. In addition, arrivals of vegetable oils surged 35.6 percen to 529,000 tonnes, but were down 11.8 percent from May. On the other hand, China's iron ore imports dropped to 83.24 million tonnes last month, down from May's 94.14 million tonnes and from 94.7 million tonnes in June last year. Crude oil imports fell for a second month in a row in June to 34.35 million tonnes, or 8.36 million barrels per day, the lowest since December. That was down 9 percent from 9.2 million bpd in May and also down from 8.8 million bpd in June last year.

Exports grew 11.3 percent to USD 216.7 billion, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase and following a 12.6 percent gain in May. Unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports were 510,000 tonnes last month, their highest level since December 2014, up 10.9 percent from 460,000 tonnes a year ago and from 480,000 tonnes in May. In addition, sales of steel products climbed 1.9 percent year-on-year to 6.94 million tonnes, hitting their highest since July 2017. Exports were up 0.9 percent from 6.88 million tonnes in May.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to a record USD 28.97 billion in June from USD 24.58 billion in May. Sales grew by 12.6 percent from a year earlier to hit the largest on record of USD 42.6 billion. Meantime, imports grew by 9.6 percent to USD 13.7 billion.

For the first half of this year, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 144.4 billion from USD 184.7 billion in the same period 2017, as exports rose 12.4 percent and imports grew 19.7 percent. The six-month trade surplus with the US surged 13.8 percent to USD 133.76 billion, as exports increased by 13.6 percent and imports by 11.8 percent.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 261.9 billion in June, as imports increased by 6 percent and exports expanded 3.1 percent. Over the January-June period, the trade surplus dropped 26.7 percent to CNY 901.32 billion, with exports increasing by 4.9 percent and imports by 11.5 percent.



Tuesday July 10 2018
China Inflation Rate Rises to 3-Month High in June
Statistics China | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation edged up to 1.9 percent year-on-year in June of 2018 from 1.8 percent in the previous month and matching market consensus. It is the highest rate since March, as prices of food went up at a faster pace and cost of non-food continued to increase.

In June, the politically sensitive food prices increased by 0.3 percent, faster than a 0.1 percent rise in the prior month. Prices continued to rise  for fresh vegetables (9.3 percet from 10 percent in May) and eggs (15.1 percent from 20.8 percent); while fell less for pork (-12.8 percent from -16.7 percent); and  continued to decline for fresh fruit (-5.3 percent from -2.7 percent). 

Meantime, cost of non-food went up 2.2 percent, the same as in May. Upward pressure came from: transport and communication (2.4 percent from 1.8 percent); other goods and services (0.9 percent from 1 percent); clothing (1.1 percent, the same as in May); rent, fuel & utilities (2.3 percent from 2.2 percent in May);  household goods and services (1.5 percent, the same as in May); healthcare (5 percent from 5.1 percent); and education, culture and recreation (1.8 percent from 1.9 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes the prices of food and energy, stood at 1.9 percent, the same as in the previous month.

For 2018, China set its consumer inflation target at around 3 percent, in line with the preceding year's figure.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell by 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent drop in May and in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 4.7 percent from a year earlier in June of 2018, after a 4.1 percent rise in the previous month and above market expectations of 4.5 percent. It is the highest producer inflation since last December. Prices of means of production went up at a faster pace (6.1 percent from 5.4 percent in May), namely extraction (11.5 percent from 8.1 percent), raw materials (8.8 percent from 7.4 percent) and processing (4.6 percent from 4.4 percent). Also, cost of consumer goods rose more (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent), namely food production (0.7 percent from 0.3 percent), clothing (0.3 percent from 0.3 percent); daily use goods (1.1 percent from 1.1 percent); while prices of consumer durable goods declined less (-0.5 percent from -0.7 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices went up by 0.3 percent.


Monday June 11 2018
China May Inflation Rate Steady at 1.8%
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer prices rose by 1.8 percent year-on-year in May of 2018, the same as in a month earlier and matching market consensus. It remained the lowest inflation rate since January.

In May, the politically sensitive food prices increased by 0.1 percent, way slower than a 0.7 percent rise in April and marking the softest gain in food prices since a decline in January. Prices declined sharply for fresh fruit (-2.7 percent from +4.2 percent in April) and fell further for pork (-16.7 percent from -16.1 percent) while rose more for eggs (20.8 percent from 14.9 percent).

Meantime, non-food inflation edged up to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in April. Upward pressure came from: transport and communication (1.8 percent from 1.1 percent); other goods and services (1 percent from 0.9 percent); clothing (1.1 percent, the same as in April); rent, fuel & utilities (2.2 percent, the same as in April);  household goods and services (1.5 percent, the same as in April); healthcare (5.1 percent from 5.2 percent); and education, culture and recreation (1.9 percent from 2 percent).

For 2018, China set its consumer inflation target at around 3 percent, in line with the preceding year's figure.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell by 0.2 percent, similar to the April's figure while markets expected a  0.1 percent decline.

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 4.1 percent from a year earlier in May, after a 3.4 percent rise in the previous month and above market expectations of 3.9 percent. It is the highest producer inflation since January. Prices of means of production went up at a faster pace (5.4 percent from 4.5 percent), namely extraction (8.1 percent from 6.1 percent), raw materials (7.4 percent from 5.7 percent) and processing (4.4 percent from 3.9 percent). Also, cost of consumer goods rose more (0.3 percent from 0.1 percent), namely food production (0.3 percent from 0.1 percent), clothing (0.3 percent from 0.2 percent); daily use goods (1.1 percent from 0.9 percent); while prices of consumer durable goods declined further (-0.7 percent from -0.6 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices went up by 0.4 percent.


Friday June 08 2018
China May Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected
Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed sharply to USD 24.92 billion in May 2018 from USD 40.51 billion in the same month a year earlier, and came in well below market consensus of USD 31.9 billion. Imports jumped 26 percent to a record high while exports rose at a softer 12.6 percent.

Imports rose 26 percent from a year earlier to an all-time high of USD 187.95 billion in May, after a 21.5 percent rise in a month earlier and easily beating market expectations of 18.7 percent. Imports of commodities continued to lead the way in May, with shipments of copper, iron ore and soybeans all rising from the previous month. China's unwrought copper imports rose to a 17-month high of 475,000 tonnes from the previous month's 440,000 tonnes, and 21.8 percent above the previous year's figure. It was the the highest May figure for at least a decade. Iron ore imports rose 13.5 percent from the previous month to 94.14 million tonnes, and were 2.9 percent above the previous year's 91.52 million tonnes. Soybean imports rose to 9.69 million tones in May from last month's 6.9 million tonnes. Also, they were up 1 percent from last year. On the other hand, China's crude oil imports fell from record highs hit the month before to 39.05 million tonnes in May, or 9.2 million barrels per day (bpd). It compared with 9.6 million bpd in April and 8.76 million bpd a year earlier.

Exports increased at a slower 12.6 percent to USD 212.87 billion, following a revised 12.7 percent rise in the preceding month and compared to market forecasts of a 10 percent gain. The country's unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports came in at 485,000 tonnes in May, the highest since December 2014. Shipments were up 7.5 percent from 451,000 tonnes in April and up 12.8 percent from 430,000 tonnes a year ago. In addition, sales of steel products rose 5 percent to 6.88 million tonnes in May from 6.48 million tonnes in the previous period, but down 1.4 percent from a year earlier. It was the highest value since July 2017.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to USD 24.58 billion in May from USD 22.15 billion in April, as exports to the country went up 11.6 percent to USD 39.3 billion and imports grew 11.4 percent to USD 14.7 billion. Also, the trade surplus with the EU was USD 9.7 billion, with exports rising by 8.5 percent and imports by 18.3 percent; and that with ASEAN countries was USD 6.5 billion, as exports advanced 17.6 percent and imports 20.5 percent. Meanwhile, the biggest trade deficit was recorded with Taiwan (USD 11.3 billion, with exports increasing 11.7 percent and imports 31.6 percent), followed by South Korea (USD 8.2 billion, with exports increasing 11.4 percent and imports 31.8 percent), Australia (USD 5.5 billion, with exports increasing 18.5 percent and imports 22.4 percent) and Japan (USD 3.8 billion, with exports increasing 10.2 and imports 22.5 percent). 

For January-May, China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 102.81 billion from USD 141.90 billion in the same period 2017. The five-month trade surplus with the US surged 12.9 percent to USD 104.85 billion.

In yuan-denominated terms, the trade surplus stood at CNY 156.51 billion in May, as imports jumped 15.6 percent and exports advanced 3.2 percent. Over the January-May period, the trade surplus shrank 31 percent to CNY 649.8 billion, with exports increasing by 5.5 percent and imports by 12.6 percent.


Thursday May 10 2018
China April Inflation Rate Weaker than Expected
Statistics China l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's consumer price inflation fell to 1.8 percent year-on-year in April, from 2.1 percent in the previous month and missing market consensus of 1.9 percent. It was the lowest rate since January, mainly due to a sharp slowdown in food inflation.

In April, the politically sensitive food prices increased by 0.7 percent, easing from a 2.1 percent rise in March and marking the slowest gain in food prices since a decline in January. In particular, the price of fresh fruit rose by 4.2 percent compared to a 7.4 percent increase in March, and eggs rose 14.9 percent, also below the 17.6 percent advance recorded in the previous month. The price of pork continued to fall (-16.1 percent vs -12 percent in March).

Meanwhile, non-food food inflation was unchanged at 2.1 percent. Upward pressure came from: clothing (1.1 percent, the same as in March); rent, fuel & utilities (2.2 percent, the same as in March); household goods and services (1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent); transport and communication (1.1 percent vs 0.3 percent); education, culture and recreation (2 percent vs 2.2 percent); healthcare (5.2 percent vs 5.7 percent); and other goods and services (0.9 percent vs 1.2 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes the prices of food and energy, stood at 2 percent in April, the same as in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell by 0.2 percent, following a 1.1 percent drop in March while markets were expecting a smaller 0.1 percent decline.

The Chinese government confirmed in April that it set the inflation target for 2018 at around 3 percent.

Meanwhile, the producer price index, which measures wholesale inflation, increased by 3.4 percent from a year earlier in April, following a 3.1 percent rise in the previous month, but still missing market expectations of 3.5 percent. Prices of means of production went up at a faster pace (4.5 percent vs 4.1 percent), namely extraction (6.1 percent vs 5 percent), raw materials (5.7 percent vs 5.1 percent) and processing (3.9 percent vs 3.7 percent). Meantime, cost of consumer goods rose at a slower 0.1 percent (vs 0.2 percent in March), namely food production (0.1 percent vs unchanged), daily use goods (0.9 percent, the same as in March), and clothing (0.2 percent vs 0.3 percent); while prices of consumer durable goods declined further (-0.6 percent vs -0.3 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices fell by 0.2 percent, the same pace as in March.


Tuesday May 08 2018
China Trade Surplus Beats Estimates In April
Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 28.78 billion in April of 2018 from USD 37.45 billion in the same month a year earlier but above market consensus of USD 24.7 billion. Imports jumped 21.5 percent year-on-year to USD 171.64 billion, while exports rose by 12.9 percent to USD 200.49 billion.

In April, imports surged 21.5 percent from a year earlier to USD 171.64 billion, faster than a 14.4 percent rise in a month earlier and beating expectations of a 16 percent increase. Inbound shipments of unwrought copper imports rose to 442,000 tonnes from the previous month's 430,000 tonnes and the preceding year's 300,000 tonnes. Also, purchases increased for: copper (442,000 tonnes from 439,000 in March); crude oil (39.46 million tonnes from 39.17 million tonnes); and soybeans (6.92 million tonnes from 5.66 million tonnes).

Exports grew by 12.9 percent to USD 200.49 billion, recovering from a 2.7 percent decline in the preceding month but way above forecasts of a 6.3 percent gain. Outbound shipments of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products, including primary, alloy and semi-finished aluminium products, came in at 451,000 tonnes in April, up  from  450,000 tonnes in March and from 430,000 tonnes in April 2017. In addition, sales of steel products rose to 6.48 million tonnes from 5.65 million tonnes in a month earlier and compared with 6.49 million tonnes in April 2017.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, widened to USD 22.19 billion in April from USD 15.43 billion in March. 

Considering the first four months of 2018, China's trade surplus came in at USD 77.87, down sharply from a surplus of USD 101.42 billion in the same period 2017.  Exports in the period grew by 16.5 percent compared to the same period the preceding year, while imports went up by 19.6 percent. Meanwhile, from January to April 2018, the trade surplus with the US was USD 80.4 billion, with sales growing by 13.9 percent and imports increasing by 11.6 percent.

In yuan-denominated terms, the trade surplus stood at CNY 18.28 billion in April. Exports went up by 3.7 percent, after a  9.8 percent rise in a month earlier. Purchases increased by 11.6 percent, compared to a 5.9 percent growth in March.