China Trade Surplus Less Than Expected


China trade surplus came in at USD29.86 billion in March of 2016, up significantly from a USD3.08 billion surplus reported a year earlier but slightly below market consensus. Exports rose for the first time since June 2015 while imports fell less than estimated.

In March, exports increased by 11.5 percent year-on-year to USD160.86 billion, reversing from a 25.4 percent decline in the preceding month and partly reflecting a seasonal upturn after the Lunar New Year holiday in February. Imports dropped  by 7.6 percent to USD130.9 billion while markets expected a 10.2 percent decline. It is the 17th straight month of contraction, as a result of declining commodity prices and weak demand. In February 2016, the country registered a USD32.59 billion trade surplus.

From January to March 2016, exports dropped by 9.6 percent. Shipments declined for: Chinese herbal and medicine (-12.7 percent), coke and semi-coke (-18.5 percent), crude (-65.6 percent), refined oil (-8.0 percent), mineral fertilizer (-41.7 percent), plastic products (-21.0 percent), clothing (-7.3 percent), footwear (-12.8 percent), ceramic (-23.2 percent), precious metals (-9.5 percent), steel (-27.6 percent), unwrought aluminium and aluminium (-20.3 percent), handheld wireless phone & its parts (-13.8 percent), automatic data processing equipment and parts (-16.5 percent), shipping (-25.2 percent), LCD panel (-19.7 percent), furniture & parts (-11.9 percent) and lamps, lighting fixture. In contrast, Sales rose for: rice (+10.0 percent), coal & ignite (+90.0 percent), integrated circuit (+16.3 percent) and toys (+12.4 percent). In contrast, sales rose for rice (+10.0 percent), coal & ignite (+90.0 percent), integrated circuit (+16.3 percent) and toys (+12.4 percent). Exports were up 0.2 percent respectively to India and Russia. In contrast, outbound shipments declined at a slower pace to Hong Kong (-6.5 percent), Japan (-5.5 percent), South Korea (-11.2 percent), Taiwan (-3.7 percent), the ASEAN countries (-13.7 percent), the EU countries (-6.9 percent), South Africa (-29.6 percent), the US (-8.8 percent), Brazil (-47.2 percent), Australia (-1.9 percent) and New Zealand (-12.4 percent). 

Imports decreased by 13.5 percent year-on-year. Purchases from most of the country's trading partners declined at a slower pace. In contrast, imports rose from Hong Kong, Vietnam, Brazil and New Zealand. Purchases from the US declined by 14.1 percent, India (-20.1 percent), Japan (-8.2 percent), South Korea (-11.7 percent), Taiwan (-12.3 percent), ASEAN countries (-8.4 percent), the EU countries (-7.0 percent), Russia (-4.9 percent), South Africa (-21.5 percent) and Australia (-30.0 percent). Meanwhile, imports from Hong Kong jumped by 90.8 percent, followed by Vietnam (+13.8 percent), Brazil (+17.6 percent) and New Zealand (+2.1 percent).


China Trade Surplus Less Than Expected


General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/13/2016 10:02:03 AM