CHINA (OBSERVATORY) – Foreign supplies of China declined in March under the influence of seasonal effects associated with the celebration of the New Year by the lunar calendar. The country recorded a trade deficit for the first time since February 2017, writes Bloomberg.
Exports from China in dollar terms in March declined by 2.7% in annual terms after an increase of 44.5% in February, according to the data of the Main Customs Administration of the People’s Republic of China.
Import in March rose by 14.4% in annual terms after rising 6.3% the month before.
The negative balance of China’s trade balance last month was $ 4.98 billion.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg, on average, forecast China’s trade surplus of $ 27.5 billion in March, compared with $ 33.75 billion in February.
Economists note that the decline in exports is due to seasonal effects. The celebration of the New Year by the lunar calendar this year fell on the middle of February, which put pressure on exports in March. In 2017, the week-long celebration of the New Year began in January.
The data for the first quarter was also affected by the effect of the exchange rate. In January-March, the yuan strengthened by 3.7% against the dollar.
In general, following the results of the first quarter, exports from China increased by 14.1%. Import in January-March increased by 18.9% in annual terms.
Exports from China to the United States in the first quarter jumped by 14.8% compared to the same period last year. At the same time, imports increased by 8.9%. As a result, the trade surplus with the US in the I quarter increased by 19.4% to $ 58.25 billion. In March, the indicator fell to $ 15.43 billion from $ 20.96 billion in February.
The volume of soybean imports increased by only 0.2% in the first quarter compared to a growth of 20% a year earlier. China is the largest buyer of American soy: it accounts for about a third of the total crop in the United States.
Last week the US announced a list of goods imported from China worth about $ 50 billion, which are planned to introduce duties at a rate of 25%.
In response, China has decided to introduce duties of 25% on 106 types of American goods, including soybeans, for up to $ 50 billion a year.
Earlier, Beijing imposed duties on American fruits, ginseng, nuts, wine and pork in response to US duties on imports of steel and aluminum.
The trade conflict between the two largest economies intensified even more after US President Donald Trump instructed his administration to consider the possibility of imposing additional duties on goods from China worth $ 100 billion. China in response said it would resist US protectionism “to the end and at any cost”.