Imports to China dropped 7.6 percent year-on-year to USD 166 billion in March 2019, worse than market expectations of a 1.3 percent fall and after a 5.2 percent decline in the previous month. This was the fourth straight month of decline in inbound shipments, suggesting the country's domestic demand remains weak, as purchases of soybeans decreased 13.1 percent to 4.92 million tonnes, amid higher tariff imposed on shipments from the US. In addition, purchases of unwrought copper fell 9.1 percent to 391,000 tonnes and imports of steel products dropped 26.9 percent to 0.90 million tonnes. Also, inbound shipments of coal fell 12.1 percent to 23.48 million tonnes. In contrast, imports of iron ore went up 0.8 percent to 86.42 million tonnes; purchases of copper concentrate advanced 10.4 percent to 1.767 million tonnes; inbound shipments of crude oil grew 0.4 percent from a year ago to 39.34 million tonnes and purchases of natural gas imports increased 16.4 percent to 6.94 million tonnes. Imports in China averaged 530.30 USD HML from 1981 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1951.23 USD HML in September of 2018 and a record low of 13.88 USD HML in February of 1983.
Imports in China is expected to be 1470.00 USD HML by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Imports in China to stand at 1600.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the China Imports is projected to trend around 2100.00 USD HML in 2020, according to our econometric models.