Published: Sun, April 14, 2019

China's imports plummet in March

China's imports plummet in March

As Lunar New Year festivities usually take place within the first few months of the year, the data discrepancies are caused by base effects due to the festival being held on different dates compared to previous years.

China's exports rebounded from a slump and sales to the United States rose despite President Donald Trump's tariff Drops. Meanwhile, global growth has been downgraded by the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization says the conflict over tariffs will hit global trade growth this year.

India has witnessed a major breakthrough in its exports to China during the last few months while its import of Chinese items is falling, according to Mahesh Y Reddy, secretary general of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), who recently appreciated the remarkable turnaround by Indian exporters during April-January 2018-19.

The exports rose 14.2 percent year-on-year in March, reversing a 20.8 percent decline in February. "We expect these to stay in the low single digits, as preliminary indicators remain weak", he wrote. Dow Jones said the surplus was only expected to have come in at $6 billion.

China has been broadly affected by the weakened trade earlier due to the United States (US)-Sino trade conflict but trade progress between the two parties in recent weeks have cooled the bearishness on the ground. The country's trade surplus - the gap between exports and imports - jumped to $32.6bn (£24.9bn), from $4.1bn in February.

Chinese exporters will also likely have to scramble to win back lost market share.

The trade dispute has prompted some USA companies to shift purchases of tariff-targeted products like furniture and refrigerators to countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Mexico, according to a report by S&P Global Market Intelligence's trade data firm Panjiva. The official, Li Kuiwen, said imports of American goods fell 21% in yuan terms.

Investors are closely watching to see how long it will take those support measures to take hold.

The export reading last month was higher than economists' estimates of a 6.5% increase, providing a boost to a stronger recovery in exports for the first three months of the year.

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