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China export growth slows in November: Customs data


China’s export growth slowed last month weighed down by slowing global demand and trade tensions with the United States, official data released Saturday showed.

Exports rose 5.4 per cent for November on-year, short of the 9.4 per cent forecast by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 3.0 per cent on-year, also below the forecast, according to customs administration data.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries — logged a USD 44.7 billion surplus in November, up from USD 35 billion the previous month, the data showed.

The sagging export and import growth is another bad sign for China’s economy, which grew at its slowest pace for nine years in the third quarter, expanding 6.5 per cent on-year for July-September.

China’s trade surplus with the US has reached records highs this autumn as China has cut back imports from the US while American importers have rushed goods across the Pacific to beat the higher tariffs most expected in January.

Last week as part of a trade war truce, US President Donald Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tariffs on USD 200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 per cent beginning January 1, leaving them at the current 10 per cent rate.

But unease over the agreement has dented stocks this week with major US indices falling more than two per cent to close the market’s worst week since March and one that left both the Dow and S&P 500 in negative territory for the year.

China reacted furiously after a top executive and daughter of the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei was arrested in Canada this week following a US extradition request.

The arrest threatens to rattle the trade war truce with the United States, analysts say.

Confusion over what was achieved at the Trump-Xi meeting has already contributed to the unease.

The White House has said China agreed to purchase a “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products and would begin buying products from US farmers “immediately”.

Trump added China would roll back tariffs of 40 percent on US made cars.

So far Beijing has not confirmed any of those moves.

The trade tensions come at a tough time for Beijing, which is battling to tackle a mountain of debt as credit tightens and infrastructure investment falls.

While exports to the US have held up so far this autumn, the row has sapped confidence in China.

The Shanghai composite stock index has fallen by about one-quarter from its January high, while the yuan has slipped about nine percent against the dollar.

Source: Economic Times