China's June exports jump, surplus with USA at record high

20180706-China-US-trade-chart-NEW

China's monthly trade surplus with the United States hits a record high in June, amid a bitter trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. This is the highest surplus in any month since 1999.

China's exports rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier, compared with a 12.6% increase in May, customs data showed.

The figures come after the two sides exchanged tit for tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods and Donald Trump threatened to up the ante with measures on a colossal $200 billion of Chinese imports.

"Still, we do not expect a plunge because those tariffs only targeted $34 billion worth of goods which is fairly small compared to China's total trade", she said.

Against this overall background, Australia is in the fortunate position of avoiding a trade dispute with the United States and largely being spared from the impact of the new USA tariffs.

This prompted Beijing to accuse Washington of launching the "largest trade war" in economic history, while immediately matching the United States tariffs dollar for dollar.

Companies worry the spiralling dispute might dampen global trade and economic growth. So far, encouraged by strong job growth and expectations of good quarterly earnings reports, U.S. markets have been strong and the Australian market has reached a 10-year record high.

Not unexpectedly, several readers have expressed concern about the possible impact of the introduction of new U.S. tariffs on Chinese, Canadian and European imports on Australian and world share markets. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month.

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Separate customs data on Friday showed imports of commodities from soybeans to crude oil eased compared with a year ago, but China's steel mills and aluminium smelters sold much more overseas spurred by higher global prices amid growing concerns about slowing demand growth.

"Trade wars are not easy to win", he said.

In yuan terms, China's exports grew 3.1% in June and imports rose 6.0%.

The commerce ministry also said this week it will use funds collected from tariffs charged on imports from the U.S.to help ease the impact of US trade actions on Chinese companies and their employees.

Imports increased by 14.1%, below the forecast 21.3%.

For January-June, it rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period a year ago.

In a sign Beijing is seeking alternative supplies of the commodities as it hit U.S. imports with extra tariffs, China had dropped import tariffs on a range of animal feed ingredients from several Asian countries.

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