Why Chinese Export Growth Will Slow

china trade shipping

After South Korean exports, often dubbed the global canary in the coal mine came in weak in April, all eyes have turned to China.

With global economies still trudging along, Chinese export data is expected to moderate.

The strong Chinese export data earlier this year had been attributed to “disguised capital inflows,” according to Societe Generale’s Wei Yao. Basically, it was reported that exporters were overstating figures to move more yuan onto the mainland.

This time around, economists polled by Bloomberg are looking for exports to rise 9.2% year-over-year (YoY) in April, compared with 10% in March. Remember the new export orders sub-index of the PMI report showed a modest decline.

Imports are expected to rise 13%, compared with 14.1% the previous month.

Meanwhile, the trade balance is expected to widen to $16.15 billion, from a deficit of $0.88 billion in March.

Bank of America’s Ting Lu expects exports to rise 8% and imports to increase a modest 6%. He expects a trade surplus of $22.8 billion.

“With narrowed CNY-CNH spread and tightened customs supervision on export reporting, export growth will likely fall from the artificially high numbers in 1Q,” wrote Ting. “Meanwhile, the moderation in import growth mainly reflects the falling commodity prices since Feb.”

The report is due out tonight or tomorrow.

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