China's trade data just breezed past expectations

Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Chinese trade data shot the lights out in June with exports and imports breezing past expectations.

Here’s the chart showing the nation’s trade performance of the past five years. The year-on-year growth for both imports and exports are both looking healthy, reflecting not only higher commodity prices and demand but also improved economic conditions abroad.

According to China’s Custom’s Bureau, exports jumped by 11.3% from a year earlier in US dollar-denominated terms, topping the 8.7% level that had been forecast by economists.

It was also an improvement on the 8.7% level reported a month earlier.

“Machinery electronics and high-tech products continued to be the main drivers for exports,” said Kelvin Lam, greater China economist at HSBC.

Lam said that exports to the US and EU grew by 19.9% and 15.2% from a year earlier, up from 11.7% and 9.7% in the May.

On the other side of the ledger, import growth also impressed, lifting 17.2% year-on-year on the back of solid demand for capital goods. It was above the 13.1% increase expected and accelerated on the 14.8% rate of May.

In volume terms, imports of iron ore grew from a month earlier, lifting to 94.43 million tonnes from 91.52 million tonnes in May. Over the half imports swelled to 539 million tonnes, up 9.3% from a year earlier.

While iron ore demand increased imports of crude oil fell, coming in at 35.69 million tonnes from 37.2 million tonnes in May. Between January to June, imports grew by 13.8% year-on-year to 212 million tonnes.

Completing a hat-trick of beats, the national trade surplus grew from $40.81 billion to $42.77 billion, marginally topping the $42.44 billion level expected.

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