Imports to China plunged 8.5 percent from a year earlier to USD 172.19 billion in May 2019, reversing a 4 percent advance in April and compared to forecasts of a 3.8 percent drop. This was the largest yearly drop in inbound shipments in nearly three years, a further sign of slowing domestic demand. Purchases fell for unwrought copper (-24 percent); iron ore (-11 percent); and soybeans (24 percent) amid higher tariff on US cargoes and following outbreaks of African swine fever. In contrast, purchases of coal surged 23 percent ahead of the peak demand season. Imports of crude oil rose 3 percent but were still below April's record high; and gas imports were up 3.6 percent from the same month last year but down slightly from 7.65 million tonnes in April. Imports dropped from the US (-26.8 percent), Japan (-15.9 percent), South Korea (-18.2 percent) and Taiwan (-8.3 percent), but grew from the EU (1.8 percent), Australia (5.2 percent) and ASEAN (3.4 percent). Imports in China averaged 535.64 USD HML from 1981 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1951.30 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 1670.00 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.