This year, China’s imports grew at their fastest pace in September, while exports rose significantly as more trading partners lifted restrictions on coronavirus, further boosting the world’s second largest economy.
Exports in September rose 9.9% year-over-year, customs data showed on Tuesday, broadly in line with analysts’ expectations and exceeding a solid 9.5% rise in August.
Strong trade figures suggest that Chinese exporters are quickly recovering from the pandemic’s blow to overseas orders. As the global economy recovers, Chinese firms are looking to grab market share as competitors grapple with capacity cuts.
“The overall picture is that outbound shipments remain strong and declining demand for Covid-19-related goods such as face masks is largely offset by a rebound in wider demand for Chinese-made consumer goods,” said a senior economist at Capital Economics on China Julian Evans-Pritchard. said.
“The jump in imports suggests domestic investment spending remains high.”
China’s manufacturing activity also increased as international trade resumed.
But some analysts warn that exports could soon peak when demand for Chinese protective gear wears down and the underlying effect of this year’s massive slump disappears.
Imports rose 13.2% in September, bouncing back after falling 2.1% in August and well above expectations for 0.3% growth.
Recovery in China
Wang Jun, chief economist at Zhongyuan Bank, said the data showed government support for the economy has intensified as the epidemic is under control.
“This has led to an increase in domestic demand, especially investment-driven demand, which has spurred imports,” Wang said, adding that the recent appreciation of the yuan has had a positive impact on imports and the purchasing power of the population.
The Chinese yuan rose to a 17-month high against the US dollar on Friday.
The rise in imports pushed the trade surplus down to USD 37 billion in September, down from USD 58.93 billion in August, below the expected USD 58.00 billion.
China bought more soybeans, grain, semiconductors, copper and steel in September, according to customs data. Analysts expect imports to continue to improve, supported by stronger domestic demand.
Zhang Jun, chief economist at Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities, said the increase in US agricultural and energy purchases as China completed a Phase 1 US-China trade deal and the resumption of logistics services in the US and Europe boosted China’s imports.
During a phone call in August, top US and Chinese trade representatives reaffirmed their commitment to the Phase 1 trade.
China’s trade surplus with the United States fell to $ 30.75 billion in September from $ 34.24 billion in August.