China's trade data for June offers few surprises

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After an excruciating wait that lasted the entire Asian trading session, China’s trade data for June has offered few surprises.

It’s weak, continuing the trend seen over the past two years.

According to China’s General Administration of Customs, exports declined by 4.8% in the year to June in US dollar terms, below the 4.1% pace of May and expectations for a similar outcome on this occasion.

On the other side of the ledger, imports declined by 8.4% over the same period, again well below the 0.4% pace of May and forecasts for a steeper drop of 5.0%.

In terms of commodities, crude oil imports between January to June grew by 14.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. Elsewhere imports of iron ore, copper and coal grew by 9.1%, 22% and 8.2% respectively.

As a result, the trade surplus came in at $US48.11 billion, down fractionally on the $US49.98 billion level of May. Markets had been expecting a decline to $US 45.64 billion.

Following the release of the June report, a spokesperson from the customs administration stated that China’s trade situation will be “severe” this year. They also acknowledged that China’s economy is facing “increased downward pressure” with the UK Brexit vote and US interest rate expectations adding to economic uncertainties.

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