Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Economy | By

China's June Exports, Imports Fall as Trade War Takes Heavier Toll

China's June Exports, Imports Fall as Trade War Takes Heavier Toll

For the first half, China's trade surplus with the United States rose around 5 percent to $140.48 billion, compared with $133.76 billion in the same period in 2018.

Imports of US goods fell 31.4 percent from a year earlier to $9.4 billion, while exports to the American market declined 7.8 percent to $39.3 billion, customs data showed this morning.

Trump complained Thursday that China hasn't boosted its purchases of US farm products, a promise he claims he secured in a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping in June.

But data released on Thursday (July 11) by the US Department of Agriculture indicate that China actually slowed its purchases of American agriculture products following the G-20 meeting.

China bought 127,800 metric tons of USA soybeans last week, the equivalent of about two cargoes and a 79 per cent reduction from the previous week.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held various trade talks during the G20 summit. Globally, China's exports fell 1.3 percent in June from the same period a year ago, while imports dived 7.3 percent, according to official data from the customs administration.

Envoys talked by phone Tuesday in their first contact since Trump and Xi met in Japan, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said.

"Mexico is doing great at the Border, but China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would", Mr Trump said on Thursday on Twitter. Both sides will continue these talks as appropriate, the official said, without offering more details on the next steps.

The agricultural loan portfolios of the nation's top 30 banks fell by $3.9 billion, to $18.3 billion, between their peak in December 2015 and March 2019, the analysis showed - a 17.5 percent decline, Reuters reported.

Washington and Beijing were close to completing a deal in May when Chinese officials balked at requirements that it change its laws to implement reforms, USA officials charged.

The U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, drawing retaliatory sanctions from Beijing on $110 billion in U.S. products.

Trump's statement "highlighted how more speed bumps may remain in the road ahead", said Craig Orlam of OANDA in a report. He pledged to help farmers largely impacted by the China-U.S. trade war and those whose crops were destroyed due to flooding.

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