China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 34.01 billion in October of 2018 from USD 36.89 billion in the same month a year earlier and slightly below market consensus of USD 35 billion. Imports jumped 21.4 percent year-on-year to USD 131.83 billion while exports increased at a slower 15.6 percent to USD 159.72 billion. The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, narrowed to USD 31.78 billion in October from a fresh record high of USD 34.13 billion in September. Over the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus came in at USD 258.15 billion. Balance of Trade in China averaged 94.11 USD HML from 1981 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 612.86 USD HML in October of 2015 and a record low of -320.02 USD HML in February of 2012.

China Balance of Trade
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China October Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected


China's trade surplus narrowed to USD 34.01 billion in October of 2018 from USD 36.89 billion in the same month a year earlier and slightly below market consensus of USD 35 bilion. Imports jumped 21.4 percent year-on-year to USD 131.83 billion while exports increased at a slower 15.6 percent to USD 159.72 billion.

Imports surged 21.4 percent year-on-year to USD 183.27 billion in October, easily beating market expectations of 14 percent and following a 14.3 percent growth in a month earlier. China's unwrought copper imports jumped 28.2 percent from a year earlier to 423,000 tonnes but slumped 18.7 percent from September's 520,000 tonnes. Also, imports of copper concentrate rose 14.5 percent to 1.57 million tonnes, but dropped 18.7 percent from a month earlier of 1.93 million tonnes. In addition, purchases of iron ore were up 11.2 percent year-on-year to 88.40 million tonnes, but were down 5.4 percent from September's 93.47 million tonnes. Imports of crude oil surged 31.5 percent year-on-year to a record high of 40.8 million tonnes, and rose 9.6 percent from September's 37.21 million tonnes. Arrivals of natural gas grew 25.6 percent year-on-year to 7.30 million tonnes, but fell 4.2 percent from September's 7.62 million tonnes. Meanwhile, imports of soybeans went up 18.1 percent year-on-year to 6.92 million tonnes, but were down 13.6 percent from September's 8.01 million tonnes. Chinese buyers have been scooping up Brazilian beans after Beijing in July imposed a 25 percent tariff on US products worth USD 34 billion, including soybeans. 

Exports rose 15.6 percent to USD 217.28 billion, after a 14.5 percent rise in September. Figure was above market consensus of a 11 percent rise, as firms increased shipments before stiffer US tariffs hit in January 2019. China's unwrought aluminium and aluminium product exports surged 37.7 percent year-on-year to 482,000 tonnes, but were down 3.6 percent month-on-month from a downwardly revised 500,000 tonnes in September. China is the world's top producer of steel and aluminium. The US has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium imports since March 23rd. However, a lower yuan has helped Chinese metal exports. China's steel product exports went up 10.4 percent year-on-year to 5.50 million tonnes in October and fell 7.6 percent from a revised figure of 5.95 million tonnes in September. Chinese aluminium exports are expected to surge further in coming months after Beijing boosted tax rebates for exports of semi-fabricated aluminium, or semis, to 16 percent from 13 percent with effect from 1st November. Exports of crude oil edged up 0.3 percent year-on-year to 0.14 million tonnes; coal went up 0.1 percent to 0.48 million tonnes; and sales of rice surged 106.1 percent to 187 million tonnes.

The trade surplus with the US, China's largest export market, narrowed to USD 31.78 billion in October from a fresh record high of USD 34.13 billion in September. Exports to the country rose 13.2 percent, while imports contracted 1.8 percent. October was the first full month after the latest US tariffs went into effect. Over the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus with the US widened markedly to USD 258.15 billion from USD 222.98 billion in the same period a year earlier.


In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 233.63 billion in October, as imports grew at a faster 26.3 percent, while exports went up 20.1 percent.



Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
11/8/2018 10:32:54 AM



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-09-08 04:00 AM Balance of Trade $27.91B $28.05B $39.33B $31B
2018-10-12 02:30 AM Balance of Trade $31.69B $27.89B $19.4B $ 27B
2018-11-08 03:00 AM Balance of Trade $34.01B $31.7B $35B $29B
2018-12-07 03:30 AM Balance of Trade $34.01B $15B


China Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade 340.16 317.02 612.86 -320.02 USD HML [+]
Exports 2172.83 2266.87 2315.23 12.50 USD HML [+]
Imports 1832.67 1949.84 1949.84 13.88 USD HML [+]
Current Account 160.00 53.29 1330.85 -341.00 USD HML [+]
Current Account to GDP 1.30 1.80 10.10 -3.70 percent [+]
External Debt 17106.00 14206.57 17799.32 158.28 USD HML [+]
Terms of Trade 94.48 96.17 118.33 81.75 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 917.70 864.97 1310.35 18.32 USD HML [+]
Capital Flows -160.00 60.00 725.40 -1305.58 USD HML [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2917.00 2815.12 2917.00 22.96 Tens of Thousands [+]
Gold Reserves 1842.60 1842.60 1842.60 395.01 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 3732.00 3857.00 4408.00 1012.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.54 6.11 6.29 1.47 [+]
Weapons Sales 1131.00 2192.00 2606.00 3.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



China Balance of Trade

Since 1995, China has been recording consistent trade surpluses which from 2004 to 2009 has increased 10 times. In 2017, China’s total trade incensed by 14.2 percent as exports grew 10.8 percent and imports rose 18.7 percent. The biggest trade surpluses were recorded with Hong Kong, the US, the Netherlands, India, the UK, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. China recorded trade deficits with Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Germany, Brazil and South Africa. This page provides - China Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. China Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on November of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
340.16 317.02 612.86 -320.02 1981 - 2018 USD HML Monthly
Current Prices, NSA




Country Last
Argentina 314.00 Sep/18
Australia 3017.00 Sep/18
Brazil 6121.36 Oct/18
Canada -416.30 Sep/18
China 340.16 Oct/18
Euro Area 11671.20 Aug/18
France -5663.00 Sep/18
Germany 18395.00 Sep/18
India -13980.00 Sep/18
Indonesia 227.10 Sep/18
Italy 2564.00 Aug/18
Japan 139.56 Sep/18
Mexico -194.00 Sep/18
Netherlands 3463.00 Aug/18
Russia 18485.00 Sep/18
Saudi Arabia 162782.00 Jun/18
Singapore 3685.26 Sep/18
South Africa -2950.00 Sep/18
South Korea 6552.00 Oct/18
Spain -3057300.00 Aug/18
Switzerland 1447.00 Sep/18
Turkey -1869.47 Sep/18
United Kingdom -27.00 Sep/18
United States -54019.00 Sep/18


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